Yaya Toure is unhappy at Manchester City; his agent and now Yaya himself are voicing displeasure with the way his recent birthday celebrations went down. The Daily Mail is basically saying that he is throwing his gilded and bejeweled toys out of his diamond-encrusted pram, while the Guardian has a measured, thoughtful breakdown on the flaming hoops that Man City might need to jump through this summer to escape further FFP violations. (Bonus: Said flaming hoops make it appreciably harder for City to pay Bacary Sagna so they can play him out of position in deference to Pablo Zabaleta.)
Of course, in this story, the Guardian has this choice quote from Yaya Toure's agent about the birthday dissing:
"He got a cake but when it was Roberto Carlos’s birthday the president of Anzhi gave him a Bugatti. I don’t expect City to present Yaya with a Bugatti; we only asked that they shook his hand and said: ‘We congratulate you.’ It is the minimum they must do when it is his birthday and the squad is all together."
And while his end game might be a move to Barcelona, which is facing its own FFP issues, or a raise in weekly wages from his current, colossal £220,000 per seven days, it seems he could be pried away if the price is right. And who says no to a £50 million transfer fee and a million pounds a month in wages for a 31-year-old box-to-box midfielder, amirite?
There are other scenarios floating around, some of them substantive, and some of them in the pure imaginations of football writers let loose in Willy Wonka's factory. Ashley Cole could come to Arsenal on a free (welcome back, prodigal son!), though Liverpool's a more likely destination for the defender deemed too old for the England national team. The Times astutely scans the transfer stories of the past year to come up with Julian Draxler, Lars Bender, and Karim Benzema as transfer targets. Pssst, The Times? Rumor also has it that Arsenal's in for Mesut Özil; go check that one out.
The Guardian (albeit, in its Rumor Mill column) notes that Angel di Maria from Real Madrid is a possibility, in large part because two of his other suitors have complications in the way -- PSG would rather pry Eden Hazard away from Chelsea, and Monaco owner Dmitry Rybolovlev has to pay his soon-to-be-ex-wife £2.7 billion (with a B) in a divorce. Looks like someone else didn't get a Bugatti for her birthday, amirite?
And, in an exciting rumor so fantastical that not even Spendy believes it, Xavi is reportedly being shopped to several Premier League teams, with Arsenal among them. Because who says no to a 34-year-old Barcelona club legend who'd be delighted to compete with a former Real Madrid playmaker for minutes against the likes of Leicester and Burnley?
SPENDY SEZ: I have the chance to buy one of the most expensive players in the Premier League? And he likes Bugattis? I also like Bugattis! Did you know that the 2011 Bugatti Veryon costs nearly $2.5 million and gets 7 miles to the gallon in the city? Ha, ha, like you would drive it around in the city! I would get you that car, Yaya Toure, and personally bake you (or my kitchen staff would) a pound cake made with real pound notes! I will break out my German accent and say "Ja! Ja!" to Yaya! FORSOOTH! MAKETH WITH THE RAIN!