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May 20, 2014

Agent: City have disrespected Yaya

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson reacts to the strange story that Yaya Toure is upset with Man City for "being disrespected".

Yaya Toure's future at Manchester City is in doubt after his agent claimed the midfielder was not being paid enough respect by the club.

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Dimitry Seluk was quoted as telling The Sun that no one from City wished the midfielder a happy birthday when he turned 31 during a club event in Abu Dhabi to celebrate their second Premier League title a week ago.

"Yaya is so upset he's thinking of leaving City," Seluk said. "There are a number of things that have happened that have left Yaya feeling bitterly upset. He must concentrate on the World Cup now. But City have treated him with disrespect and have really hurt him."

Of the supposed snub, Seluk added: "What happened at his birthday meant the club don't care about him. It was proof. They can say whatever they want -- 'Oh we like him but we forgot.'

"Forgot? About Yaya? The player who helped you to be two-time Premier League champions? The guy who helped you win the FA Cup and the League Cup?

"His birthday can be on a normal day and, in a normal team, his teammates and club would at least give him good wishes. But when you win the title on May 11, a day later you go to Abu Dhabi and on May 13 you have a big party to celebrate the title and nobody comes to Yaya to say, 'Happy birthday,' what more do you want? They don't give any attention to Yaya. This is the s---tiest thing."

City may treat Seluk's claims with some scepticism after previously threatening that Toure, who joined the club from Barcelona in 2010, was ready to move on.

The agent claimed his client needed "new motivations" in May 2012 and that he could leave for Chelsea, Bayern Munich or Barca. In March last year, Seluk issued City with an ultimatum, again via The Sun, that Toure would leave the club if he was not offered a new deal within a matter of days. In early April 2013, Toure signed a new four-year contract.

However, Seluk has insisted Toure's complaints are not about money.

He added: "Yaya is rich enough, I am rich enough and for us the most important thing is relationships. They don't know that money can't buy relationships -- no Sheikh can buy a relationship. This isn't about money or a new contract -- it's about human relationships and City have shown they don't respect him. I repeat, this is not about money. In fact, he would take less to return to Barcelona."

With Toure -- who scored 24 goals in all competitions from midfield for City this season -- tied to such a long deal it seems unlikely the club would contemplate allowing him to leave.

However, Seluk hinted the recent sanctions handed down to the club by UEFA over financial fair play breaches -- which included restricting City to a net spend of 60 million euros (49 million pounds) next season -- could pave the way for Toure's exit.

"With financial fair play for them, it's very good if Yaya goes," Seluk added. "They can receive money and they can show to UEFA they have money. And they can let Manuel Pellegrini win the title with Fernando from Porto."

Despite Seluk's claims over the birthday snub, a video released by City last week shows the midfielder was presented with a cake, while a message was posted on the club's official Twitter feed.

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