Yaya Toure not leaving Manchester City – Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini has today defended under-fire Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure and says the Ivory Coast international is going nowhere.

The 31-year-old has failed to recapture his form of last season, when he scored 24 goals in all competitions, 20 of which came in the Premier League.

Toure has scored eight Premier League goals this term and has been earmarked as a primary transfer target for Inter Milan and former City manager Roberto Mancini.

But Pellegrini launched a staunch defence of the midfielder, insisting he is an integral part of the club.

“I repeat we are not talking about that,” the Chilean snapped. “Yaya is a very important player for our team. Maybe all of you are waiting for me to criticise him or sacrifice him.

“Yaya will continue playing here because he is a very important player for me and the squad and the fans for everyone.”

City could find themselves 15 points off league leaders Chelsea if results go against them this weekend, but despite a lacklustre campaign Pellegrini refuted suggestions his positon could be under threat.

“Last year there was more pressure when we were fighting for the title,” he said. “The pressure is for us to recover our normal performance and that’s not the same as fighting for the title.

“I am not thinking about next year. I have a contract here for one year more and I’ll continue working because I know I have the support of the owners, the player and the fans. We need all of them behind the club for these last games.

“That’s why I don’t feel under any pressure about that. I don’t think about the future, I never think about the future I only think about the present. We are thinking about the next game against West Ham on Sunday and that’s the only thing on our minds.”