LONDON (Reuters) - Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure is leaving Manchester City and will get a fitting send-off in the Premier League champions’ final home game against Brighton next week, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
An instrumental figure in recent years, the 34-year-old has played a bit-part role this season and is out of contract at the end of the campaign.
“Yaya is not going to stay next season,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of City’s home game against Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
“The Brighton game, we will give him what he deserves. One of the most beautiful farewells a player can receive. We will be focused on winning for Yaya and we are going to try to win it for him,” added the Spaniard.
City play Brighton at the Etihad on Wednesday before their final match at Southampton.
Toure joined City from Barcelona, when Guardiola was in charge there, in 2010 and missed a part of last season following a public spat between his agent Dimitri Seluk and the Spaniard.
The player, who will be 35 this month, then issued a pubic apology and was welcomed back into the fold, with a one-year contract extension.
He has made 229 Premier League appearances over the eight years, but only nine this season, winning two titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups with City.
“We have amazing facilities but the club became what they did because of the players. Yaya Toure came here when this idea for the club started, and what we are in this moment is thanks to what this guy has done,” said Guardiola.
“We cannot forget the period from (former managers) Roberto Mancini, and especially Manuel Pellegrini, Yaya was the key, key player.
“That’s why we are delighted to prepare for Sunday’s game, for our celebration, and after for Yaya.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by William Maclean