Ivorian midfielder Yaya Touré has joined forward Thierry Henry as likely departees from the Nou Camp, with FC Barcelona confirming that Touré will be allowed to leave the club during this summer's transfer window. The final decision, however, will be up to the players, as Touré (as is the case with Henry) will still have to confirm an agreement with another club before leaving the Spanish champions.
In the case of Touré, the club's director has acknowledged that, should that agreement be made, an "understanding" is in place that would take the midfielder from Barcelona to Manchester City in the English Premier League, a club captained by his brother, Kolo.
According to Barcelona's official website, as quoted by The Independent:
A statement on Barcelona's official website read: "Barcelona’s director general Joan Oliver has said that the club has agreed the exits of Yaya Toure and Thierry Henry, but that at the moment the final moves are in their hands.
"In case of Toure, Oliver has recognised an understanding between the club interested in the midfielder, Manchester City, and Barca, but the transfer cannot be made official yet."
Last year, Yaya Touré saw his time with Barcelona limited due to injuries and the emergence of Sergio Busquets, a Barcelona academy player who has move into the defensive midfield role in coach Pep Guardiola's starting XI. As Busquets started to emerge last summer, the then 26-year-old Touré had been linked with a move to Arsenal, where his brother was playing at the time. Now, Touré is close to finally making the move to England, this time a little farther west.
The move would further crowd a defensive midfielder position that's an area of strength for Manchester City. In January 2009, Manchester City brought in Nigel de Jong, augmenting him with Gareth Barry six months later. In the last transfer window, Patrick Vieira was added from Internazionale, and with a potential Touré acquisition, the Citizens will have four high profile acquisitions for two spots in their formation.
Yaya Touré joined Barcelona in 2007 after one year with AS Monaco in France. He had previous stops in Greece and Ukraine after starting his European professional career with KSK Beveren in Belgium. With Barcelona, has has been a member of two Spanish league champions and one UEFA Champions League-winning team.