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The influential midfielder has refuted rumours of his departure from Etihad Stadium next January

Manchester City star Yaya Toure has described as baseless reports linking him to a possible move away from his current club, declaring he would continue plying his trade at Etihad Stadium as long as possible.

Speaking to Paris-based television Africa24 on Thursday, the Cote D’Ivoire international cited trust from The Citizens’ new coach Manuel Pellegrini and love from fans as strong reasons not to contemplate any departure for the time being.

“It’s true Manchester City are not doing too fine at the moment in the Premier League. There have been good and bad times for us this season, but I think I have every reason to remain here,” Toure said.

“I have the trust of my coach that is why I’m vice captain and the fans love me. They keep chanting for me and singing my name. I’ll stay here as long as possible because I’m happy with the people and the atmosphere,” he said.

Asked if he had overcome the shock suffered from the recent acts of racism in Russia, the 30-year-old deplored the phenomenon and called on its perpetrators to learn from the atmosphere at other sporting disciplines like tennis, rugby and basketball.

“Although I play football, I also watch and attend tennis, rugby and basketball games. You don’t find such racist chants and behaviour in those environments,” he said.

“Why should this happen in football? I don’t know the frustration pushing those fans to behave that way but I want them to understand that football can’t be played without black people, coloured people, Asians, etc. It is a global sport and so everybody participates irrespective of their race.”

Toure, who is the reigning African Footballer of the Year, also assured he would be part of the Cote D’Ivoire squad to participate in next year’s World Cup in Brazil following their qualification over Senegal.  

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