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Yaya Toure puts retirement on hold to claim one last payday in China

The Ivorian has agreed to join Qingdao Huanghai.

Toure with the Qingdao Huanghai shirt.
Toure with the Qingdao Huanghai shirt.
Image: Twitter/YayaToure

FORMER MANCHESTER CITY and Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure has completed a move to Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai.

After it was claimed that Toure would be retiring from football in May, the Ivorian moved to insist that he would be continuing his career were he able to find a club.

And he has now moved to Qingdao, who play in the second tier of Chinese football.

In a statement published on his personal website, Toure said: “Since the start of my football career, I have always loved challenges and now I have decided to take this new challenge and make history once again with Qingdao Huanghai Football Club.

“This is a very exciting young club with a lot of potential and we share the same philosophy – that is to play beautiful football. It will be my great honour to grow and succeed with this club.

“I believe my experiences in football will offer something new to this growing club and together we can make great history. I can’t wait to let my football do the magic once again, let’s enjoy football together!”

Toure, who left Man City at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, was last seen plying his trade for Olympiacos.

His contract was terminated in December, however, having made just five appearances for the Greek outfit during his second spell for the club.

Having failed to join another club for the remainder of the campaign, Toure’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, claimed his client would be hanging up his boots in May.

“I say this for the first time: Yaya decided to end his career as a champion,” he told Sport24 at the time.

“The farewell match, when he won the Premier League title with Manchester City was, in principle, the real end of his playing career. Not only in this team, but in general.”

But just two days later Toure refuted the claims, insisting that he was still on the market should a club require his services.

“Retired? Never! I will still keep playing,” he told Sky Sports.

There have been so many rumours about my future in football but it’s time to make things clear.

“Football is something I cannot describe, I’ve been playing since I was young, and I will continue playing football. When it’s time for me to retire I will do it officially myself. Nobody else will speak on my behalf.”


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Toure will now travel to China where his new team-mates have been in fine form, winning nine of their first 15 matches of the season to sit four points clear at the top of the China League One table.

The top two sides in the division will earn promotion to the Chinese Super League, and the hope will be that Toure’s experience will help them get over the line.

Among his new team-mates are ex-West Ham forward Ricardo Vaz Te an former La Liga journeyman midfielder Joan Verdu, who played for Espanyol, Real Betis and Deportivo La Coruna among others.

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