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2018 World Cup
By ESPN Staff

Barcelona's Toure reveals Arsenal interest

Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure claims Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tried to sign him over the summer.

The Ivory Coast international has been linked with a move to Gunners since the end of last season and has previously admitted he would like to join his brother Kolo at the London club.

The 25-year-old only joined Barca at the start of last season, however, and insists he has no plans to move on at present.

"Wenger, as well as my brother, asked me if I would join Arsenal during the summer, but I told them that I was very happy at Barcelona," Toure told Catalan radio station RAC-1.

Toure was one of the few Barca players to emerge with any credit from a poor showing last season that saw the Catalan club fail to win any silverware for a second year in a row.

However, the arrival of a new coach Pep Guardiola and a summer rebuilding programme has seen Toure relegated to the bench at the start of the new season, but the player insists he wants to stay and fight for his place.

"We can't play 12 [players]," he said. "I'm feeling very good fitness-wise, but you have to respect the decisions the coach makes.

"I'm a professional and, if I don't play, what I have to do is help the team. I will be patient. We have players of great quality in each position and that is key to being the best team in the world."

Despite the extensive restructuring programme that saw the likes of Dani Alves and Alexander Hleb arrive at the Nou Camp, Barca have made a less than impressive start to the La Liga season - collecting just one point from their opening two matches.

And Toure knows the 2006 Champions League winners have to turn things around quickly if they are to scale the heights they reached under former coach Frank Rijkaard.

"Now we have to play well and with a lot of effort because when you put on the Barca shirt you represent the biggest club in the world and you have to win all the games," he continued.

"All the players are conscious that this season we have to win a trophy to give our fans some joy."


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