Liverpool: Reds To Free City's Touré
***Done Deal*** Kolo Touré will move to Anfield on July 1st when his contract at Manchester City expires...
Liverpool FC have today confirmed Kolo Touré will be registered as a Reds player when his current deal with Manchester City ends.
Well-placed reports suggest that Liverpool are close to acquiring Manchester City defender Kolo Touré...
Speculation over the past 24 hours, chiefly from the usually reliable Daily Telegraph, indicates that Liverpool are nearing a free transfer deal for Ivory Coast defender Kolo Touré.
The 32-year-old, who is out of contract this summer, has barely figured over the past two seasons for present employers Manchester City.
His lack of game time started with a six month suspension for taking weight controlling tablets which inadvertently contained a banned substance.
At the time of the failed test in March of 2011, the player's former manager Arsene Wenger - who brought Toure to England - commented: "He wants to control his weight a little bit because that's where he has some problems and he took the product of his wife.
"He is a boy that has a clean life, a very honest living. I just think it is a mistake."
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is eager to fill the central defensive void left by the retiring Jamie Carragher, plus the potential sales of Sebastian Coates and Martin Skrtel, and will look to further strengthen the area during the close season.
The Northern Irishman is expected to bring in a young centre-back - Sporting's Tiago Llori has been heavily linked - and sees Touré as an experienced head who can aid his development.
When purchased by City from Arsenal in 2009, Touré was regarded as one of the best defenders around and cost the Citizen's a cool £16million.
With over 100 caps and 300 Premier League appearances to his name, there is no denying Touré's pedigree.
During his time in England, the two-time African Cup of Nations runner-up has lifted a pair of league titles and three FA Cups.
The suggestion is Touré will have a medical and put pen to paper after returning from City's post-season trip to America where they play two friendlies against Chelsea; on Thursday in St Louis and again on Saturday at the famous Yankee Stadium in New York.
If Touré can regain form and fitness, after such a long period without regular football, then he could be a very shrewd signing. Hopefully the contract is no more than two years in length though so, in the event he cannot recapture former glories, we are not faced with a situation like Milan Jovanović or, more recently, Joe Cole. He might be joining on a free but that just means his current club will not be receiving money; Touré will get a sizeable signing on fee, hefty wages and then there will inevitably be a ridiculous amount of agent's fees etc involved. In other words, the transfer still represents somewhat of a gamble but given the need for defenders, experience and leadership within the squad, Toure could also prove to be a useful asset.
Likelihood (out of 5):
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