Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has welcomed Yaya Toure's declaration that he wants to stay at the club for the rest of his career. City's midfield driving force, signed from Barcelona for £24m two years ago, has often been linked with other clubs but he says he has no intention of leaving the Etihad Stadium.
"I want to make history with this club, I want to end my career here," the 29-year-old told L'Equipe. "I'm pretty sure and I hope that when I'm an old man, sat around, they will still talk about me here."
Those words have gone down well with Mancini, who rarely rests or substitutes the influential Ivorian. When asked if that could mean a new contract for Toure, Mancini said: "I think so because Yaya for us is a very important player and for me, personally, he is one of the best players in Europe. In my life, I saw a lot of big players and I think Yaya is part of this."
Mancini accepts Toure has not been at his dynamic best in recent weeks, with the powerful runs that became his trademark during last season's Barclays Premier League title-winning campaign having been less frequent.
But injuries to other players have meant Toure having to compensate and Mancini has no concerns over his form. Mancini said: "Probably because we had many injuries, many important players like David Silva. If we play David, Samir (Nasri) - Yaya will play better, this is sure. But also when Yaya is not 100 per cent he is important for us."
Toure also referred to some of the problems that can arise in the dressing room, including ego clashes. "Of course there are rows at a big club, with all the people with different egos, including mine," he said. "But we will be okay. I am still confident."
Mancini also acknowledged such things can happen but denied they ever cause lasting problems. He said: "I don't have any problem for this. I had, as a manager, a lot of players like this, top players and as a player (I had) the same. This is normal in a top squad where you have 40-50 players at this level. It is normal you can have this problem but we don't have any other problems."