Indian Super League (ISL) clubs had an opportunity to sign Manchester City legend Yaya Toure. However, they dismissed the idea knowing the midfielder wouldn't come cheap.
Toure reportedly earned £230,000 (approx. Rs 2.07 crore) a week during his peak at Manchester City. Harcus Consultancy Group, who are Toure's South East Asian representative and player endorsement agent, fixed a price at $1.5 million (approx. Rs 11.25 crore) for an annual deal.
Later, the ISL clubs were told that Toure was willing to accept one-third of that amount -- post-Covid situation – and would settle for offers closer to $500,000 (approx. 3.75 crore).
“We were a bit surprised that a player of his calibre wanted to come to India. However, we also expected his salary to be quite high, so we didn’t pursue him. It was evident from the very beginning that the price would be beyond reasonable expectations of most ISL clubs,” said Ravi Puskur, FC Goa’s director of football to Times of India.
The 37-year-old, was willing to bring down his price even further, if there were proceeds to gain from shirt sales. But that concept is not existent in India. FC Goa were not the only side to have been contacted. Bengaluru FC officials received the same proposal and, not surprisingly, CEO Mandar Tamhane didn’t take it too seriously.
“Yaya Toure has been offered to us by Harcus (Consultancy). I got the message on Linkedin and three others from my team have it too. I have not responded, nor has the gentleman done a follow-up,” said Tamhane.
Two other ISL clubs also confirmed that they were contacted, but not much headway was made.
The ISL has a cap of Rs 16.5 crore for player salaries and bonuses, but payments for marquee players like Toure are not part of the cap. The former Barcelona and Manchester City star made a name for himself at FC Barcelona and then became a club legend at Manchester City, winning three Premier League titles, two League Cups and FA Cup.
The midfielder left City in 2018 to join Olympiakos. His time in Greece lasted for just three months as his contract was terminated by mutual agreement. The Ivorian then moved to China with Qingdao Huanghai, before a much-publicised move to Brazil failed to materialise.
Toure was recently seen training with League Two club Leyton Orient in England.