Wednesday Kickoff: Toure could leave Man City; Abidal plays in first match since surgery; and more

YayaToure2 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

In a few months time, Yaya Toure could be pulling on the uniform of something other than the sky blue of Manchester City.

According to reports out of England, Toure is unhappy with his contract situation, and his agent has stated publicly that if the Ivorian international isn’t presented with a new and improved contract by Sunday, he could leave. Toure currently has two years remaining on his present contract.

Since moving to the blue side of Manchester in 2010, the 29-year-old has won the Premier League, FA Cup, and FA Community Shield. This season, Toure has scored five goals and tallied three assists in 24 Premier League matches.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

ABIDAL MAKES FIRST APPEARANCE FOR BARCA SINCE SURGERY

French left back Eric Abidal has continued his remarkable recovery from liver transplant surgery, playing for the Barcelona reserves side in a friendly match against Ligue 2 side Istres on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old defender, who also overcame surgery to remove a tumor in 2011, played 65 minutes in the match, and is aiming for a comeback before the end of the season. Abidal has played over 60 matches for the French National Team, playing in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, as well as the 2008 European Championships.

Abidal last played for Barcelona on February 26, 2012, starting in a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.

CASILLAS BACK TO FULL TRAINING

Speaking of goalkeepers, Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas has resumed full training with the club this week, having the opportunity to train with the full complement of other goalkeepers in the squad.

Casillas has been out of the first team squad since breaking his left hand on January 24, in a match against Valencia in the Copa Del Rey. Needing a veteran goalkeeper, the Madrid club decided to buy Diego Lopez before the end of the window to take over the starters role, presumably until Casillas recovered.

Casillas could now return to action on March 30, when Real Madrid take on Zaragoza in La Liga, or on April 3, when they face Galatasaray in the Champions League.

FERGUSON’S ACTIONS COULD EARN A UEFA BAN

Following the controversial red card to Manchester United winger Nani in the side’s 2-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League, manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s sideline antics against the referee, and refusal to speak to the media after the match, could lead to a touchline ban.

Both the red card, and Ferguson’s actions, will be heard on Thursday by UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body. The action taken by the esteemed body can range from a warning, to a fine, to a ban.

The Manchester club is hoping that due to Ferguson’s good record of attendance at post-match press conferences, his punishment will not be severe.

NEWCASTLE BLAST FA FOR DECISION ON MCMANAMAN

Newcastle have sent a strongly worded response back to the FA, after the governing body’s decision to not punish Wigan forward Callum McManaman retrospectively, following a studs-up challenge that has effectively ended Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara’s season.

The collision, which did not result in any kind of card for the offender, was seen by at least one of the four officials on the pitch, forcing the FA to cede that they had no authority to punish McManaman. Further angering the Newcastle club was when Wigan chairman Derek Llambias called it a “fair” challenge.

Haidara signed for Newcastle during the January transfer window, and had gone on to play five times for the club in all competitions.

QUICK KICKS

David Beckham tops the list of best paid soccer players in the world, with French magazine France Football calculating that he will make nearly €36 million this year. (REPORT)

Facing the pressure of finishing by next summer, FIFA has backed Brazil to complete construction on all of their stadiums by the start of the tournament. (REPORT)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is supporting the idea of Raheem Sterling playing at the U-21 Championships in Israel this summer, as long as the 18-year-old gets picked for the squad. (REPORT)

Fulham triggered an option in Martin Jol’s contract that will keep the Dutchman at Craven Cottage for one more season. (REPORT)

Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp is out for the rest of the season, after breaking his hand while shooting an advertisement with the Germany U-21′s. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Toure staying in Manchester? Do you see Ferguson getting a ban? Think that the FA needs to change their rules about retrospective punishments?

Share your thoughts below.

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7 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Toure could leave Man City; Abidal plays in first match since surgery; and more

  1. Grubbsbl says:

    UEFA and FIFA need to get together and sort the rules out as the two stories today on tackles are utter contradictions. Nani received a straight red for attempting to control the ball -be it his foot was high. Commenter A on this board then spent days reminding everyone “intent” plays no part in dangerous plays (why then goalies don’t receive ejections every time they attempt to punch the ball clear on a cross and make contact with an opposing players head, I dunno). Henry Winter reports today that McManaman will not face disciplinary punishment after the fact because the assistant had a view of the incident and deemed the coming together as “accidental.” Now I understand the two incidents occurred in different competitions but come on. If FIFA want make the sport less aggressive on the defensive side, that’s fine. Start enforcing it universally and allow local federations the power to address it. And come out and publicly explain decisions that seem to defy the traditional spirit of the game. Rather than handing out meaningless bans to a team that historically cruises through the group stage.

    • Seriously? says:

      Well, to me what your asking is that all officials need to make identical decisions, and not make mistakes, which to me would be impossible. The McManaman decision had to do with the FA’s policy that if an official sees an offense, in this case one of the AR’s, and doesn’t punish it, then the FA can’t punish it, even if the official made an incorrect decision. I think that is a bad policy, and much prefer the MLS policy of saying they can review any play in a game, even if the ref saw it.

    • Jonathon says:

      You mean the English FA needs to start following UEFA / FIFA, right? It’s the English FA that has the disconnect. They seem to think that putting studs into another player’s body is a-ok, but UEFA and FIFA disagree.

  2. 21 says:

    Toure is already 1 of the highest paid players in England. Jeez what more else does he want?

  3. fischy says:

    Acting is dangerous work. Soccer players should probably get stunt doubles for their ad work.

  4. beto says:

    still hope that Sterling plays for Jamaica! also i hope that Brendan Rogers would stop trying to manage his player’s international careers too.

  5. Travis says:

    The rule that the FA has about if an official sees a tackle nothing can be done retroactively is simply rubbish. Humans make errors, also if it was say the 4th official he wasnt close to it so he wouldnt have had a good view. Take a page out of the MLS and do the right thing occasionally, for all the complaining about MLS at least they are willing to do things like rescind reds or upgrade yellows. That was a horrid tackle and it should not matter if an official saw it, there should be a suspension, end of story