Wednesday Kickoff: Toure commits to Man City; Bayern interested in Khedira; and more

Yaya Toure (AP)

By DAN KARELL

Birthday cake or not, Yaya Toure looks like he’ll be staying at the Etihad Stadium well into the future.

Back with Manchester City following the World Cup, Toure has committed himself to the defending English Premier League champions in an interview on the club’s website. There was plenty of speculation following the end of the last EPL season after Toure complained that Man City didn’t respect him enough to shake his hand and give him a cake on his birthday.

However, it looks as if the 31-year-old midfielder has changed his tune.

“It was not a case of leaving the club. It was difficult because my situation was quite difficult,” Toure told Man City’s website. “For me I was always quiet and my decision is that I will stay at Manchester City for as long as possible.”

Toure scored an incredible 20 EPL goals last season in 35 games, combining fantastic free kick goals with box-to-box runs and finishes to lead Man City to glory for the second time in three years. Toure is entering the second year of a four-year contract he signed with the team last season.

Here are some more stories to start off your Wednesday:

BAYERN JOIN KHEDIRA RACE

Following his World Cup title, Sami Khedira is now focusing on his club future with just one year remaining on his Real Madrid contract.

According to Spanish publication Marca, Bayern Munich has entered the race to sign Khedira, with coach Pep Guardiola reportedly interested in signing the veteran holding midfielder. However, Bayern are expected to wait until Khedira is a free agent next summer to sign him, which could leave them out of the race if another club, say Arsenal, bid to sign Khedira this summer.

The report in Marca states that Real Madrid are willing to let Khedira go before the end of the transfer window to recoup some cash instead of losing him for nothing at the end of the 2014/2015 season.

NACIONAL MAKE FIRST COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL

Paraguayan side Club Nacional made history on Tuesday evening, even in defeat.

Nacional qualified for the Copa Libertadores final for the first time in their club history, despite falling to Defensor Sporting of Uruguay, 1-0. Nacional made it through to the final, 2-1, on aggregate thanks to a 2-0 victory last Wednesday against Defensor.

Nacional’s accomplishment also means that one of the Copa Libertadores finalists for the second year in a row will be a Paraguayan club, after Olimpia represented the nation in the 2013 final against Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro.

After nearly scoring in the 41st minute of action through Giorgian De Arrascaeta, the 20-year-old Uruguayan played provider for Defensor as he crossed to substitute Adrian Luna in the box for the only goal of the match in the 55th minute.

Nacional though stood firm the rest of the match and earned their place in the final.

BARKLEY SIGNS LONG-TERM EVERTON DEAL

Ross Barkley has committed himself to Everton for the long term.

After a breakout season for the Toffees, Everton announced on Tuesday afternoon that they had signed Barkley to a new four-year contract. According to reports in England, Barkley’s wages have doubled to £60,000 per week.

“As soon as I got told about it, I knew I was going to sign,” Barkley said on Everton’s website. “It means everything, signing the new contract. It is a dream to have been playing for Everton all my life and today is a great thing for me. I am settled in at Everton, this is the Club I love. I see it as my home, I never think of anything away from Goodison. Putting pen-to-paper is great and now I want to focus on doing everything right on the pitch and that will hopefully lead to bigger and better things here.”

In his first full English Premier League season, Barkley scored six goals in 34 league games, playing as a playmaking midfielder with plenty of lung-bursting runs forward.

QUICK KICKS

Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella has resigned from his position. (REPORT)

Chelsea have contacted Atletico Madrid to try and sign centerback Miranda, with Chelsea willing to pay €25 million for the Brazilian. (REPORT)

Liverpool have completed the £10 million signing of Belgian international Divock Origi, and have loaned him back to Lille for the 2014/2015 season. (REPORT)

Southampton and France international midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has hit out at his club after they denied him a reported move to Tottenham this summer. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge and six other youth players have missed the club’s flight to the USA due to visa problems. (REPORT)

Carlos Tevez’s stepfather was freed after being kidnapped and missing for eight hours, with a $50,000 ransom reportedly paid. (REPORT)

Veteran Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Kehl has decided to relinquish his position as captain for another yet to be determined player to take the armband. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid are interested in signing PSV Eindhoven wonderkid Zakaria Bakkali for a fee of €2 million. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Surprised that Toure has decided to remain with Man City? Do you see Khedira moving to Bayern Munich? Impressed that Everton were able to hold on to Barkley?

Share your thoughts below.

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11 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Toure commits to Man City; Bayern interested in Khedira; and more

  1. foooo says:

    I didn’t realize that Rummenigge is a Bayern youth player.

  2. beto says:

    Yaya – thats a player to build a team around NYCFC

  3. twosevenstreet says:

    Why would PSV sell Bakkali?

    He is only 18, might as well keep him for till after the next world cup

  4. Bean says:

    They finally gave Yaya his cake?

  5. Lu says:

    It wasn’t about cake. His brother died and Man City didn’t let him fly to his country and made him celebrate the title they won.

  6. NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

    What time is ronaldinhos pres conference and obviously he is not coming to MLS, because if not MLS would have some info. I guess is boca or EPL , c’mon MLS get him.

  7. FRANK says:

    HEY YAYA
    JERGUNN SAYS PROS DONT EAT CAKE
    EXACT DIET
    TELL MAN CITY TO SHAKE HAND AND GIVE YOU A FRUIT