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Apr 26, 2013

Mancini thanks departing Kolo Toure

Roberto Mancini has thanked Kolo Toure for his service to Manchester City and wished him well after the defender confirmed that he will be leaving the Etihad Stadium in the summer.

The City manager said he believed 32-year-old Toure, a £14 million signing from Arsenal in 2009, was right to head off in search of first-team football.

The Ivorian, out of contract later this year, had a run in the City side when captain Vincent Kompany was injured, but has only made 15 appearances this season.

Mancini said: "Kolo is at the end of his contract. If he has the chance to go to play and we can help him, we are happy. He is a good guy, a serious professional player and fantastic man."

The City manager said the club's focus was on finishing the season well rather than discussing new contracts with Carlos Tevez, Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry, whose deals all expire in 2014.

New champions Manchester United are 16 points ahead of their rivals, although City have a game in hand, and Mancini added: "I don't think the gap is correct, but we have five games [left]. We have the time to recover six or seven points. This is possible."

United clinched the title on Monday and Mancini said: "They deserve to win this title. Many congratulations to Manchester United for the work they did this season."

He believes it is vital that City buy better and sooner than they did last summer if they are to fare better next season.

Five of their six signings came on transfer deadline day in August, while Jack Rodwell arrived less than a fortnight earlier and after many of Mancini's major targets, such as Robin van Persie and Eden Hazard, went elsewhere.

He said: "We have time, but not a lot of time. We should have our targets in mind.

"You should move very quickly. We didn't do this last year. We moved so slowly. We lost the players that were our targets to improve our team."

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