West Ham turned down the chance to sign Yaya Toure this summer, insists manager Manuel Pellegrini

30 Aug

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has hit back at Yaya Toure’s agent and claimed he turned down the chance to sign the former Manchester City star this summer.

It was claimed Toure was looking to remain in the Premier League after leaving the Etihad Stadium this summer following an eight-season spell at City.

He was subsequently linked with a move to team-up with his former Blues manager at West Ham, but Pellegrini decided to look elsewhere.

Toure’s agent Dimitry Seluk this week aimed a dig at the bottom-of-the-table Hammers, when announcing on Twitter that Toure was having a medical in London.

It has since been claimed he has agreed to rejoin former club Olympiacos, having undergone his medical with the Greek giants in London this week.

But responding to Seluk’s barb, Pellegrini, who brought nine new players to the London Stadium this summer, said: “The words of the agent of Yaya were unfortunate.

“I spoke with Yaya, I know how I appreciate him as a person, as a player.

“I think he is a very good player. In the moment that we were doing our squad list, that position was covered by other players.

“We needed money to bring in other positions, so I explained to Yaya clearly why he cannot come here but I hope he will find a good club, a big club, because he is a very good player.

Yaya Toure won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups in eight years with Manchester City. He also won the Champions League and two LaLiga crowns with Barcelona

“I spoke with Yaya. He wanted to stay in England. When I was at Manchester City, he received an offer away from China, but he always told me he wants to stay here in England.

“He continues to try to be here. I suppose West Ham was one option. For me as a manager also. But unfortunately that position was covered by other players.”

West Ham face Wolves on Saturday desperate to pick up their first points of the season following three straight defeats.

Marko Arnautovic is expected to be fit for this weekend’s clash against Wolves

Pellegrini added: “It’s the second game at home, we lost the first one against Bournemouth so of course we must win this one.

“We knew before we start the season before we started we would have tough fixtures, we need points at home.

“We made mistakes in the last home game but now we cannot allow to repeat that.”

Striker Marko Arnautovic is fit despite picking up a knee injury against Arsenal last weekend.