Yaya Toure wanted to sign for Inter then changed his mind – Mancini

The Italian boss spoke about the club’s pursuit of the Ivorian midfielder, and suggested that Champions League qualification was a minimum requirement for the season

Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has suggested that Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure wanted to sign for the San Siro club before changing his mind. 

Mancini, speaking ahead of the cross-city derby with Milan, spoke on the club’s pursuit of the Ivorian midfielder, and praised the Manchester City player’s quality. 

“[Toure] wanted to come here, then changed his mind,” Mancini revealed to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Yaya Toure would’ve totally changed the team.”

The Inter boss, who worked with Toure at Manchester City, suggested that the Ivorian would have improved the club’s chances of winning the Serie A title this season, also revealing the Nerrazzuri’s pursuit of Paulo Dybala and Mario Balotelli.

“He’s a player of a superior level,” Mancini added. “With him we would’ve made an enormous step forward in every aspect. 

“Paulo Dybala was also an objective, one of the first targets. There were two or three clubs after him and in the end Juventus got there.

“I admit it’s true [that he considered Balotelli]. I thought about it when we were, hypothetically, thinking about a change for Icardi.

“I thought about him because he has to go back to being what he was. But then AC Milan came.”

Ahead of the derby with Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Milan on Sunday, the 50-year-old manager indicated the club’s ambitions this season, and placed Inter just behind Juventus and Roma in terms of quality.

“The big teams must always start off with the aim of reaching the top and Inter are a big team. Maybe we might not have the same chances initially as Juve and Roma, who have been up there for years with players who’ve been together for a while, but we always aim for the highest branch,” he added.

“I’d say Inter and Milan are on a par, as Roma, Napoli and Juventus are still ahead of us.”

And Mancini also talked about his relationship with Inter president, insisting that Champions League qualification is a must this season.

“I talk to President Erick Thohir often, on the phone at least twice a week and he also sends me text messages. It was different with Massimo Moratti because he was in Milan, but Thohir is an important presence too,” Mancini continued. 

“Did he ask me for Champions League qualification? Of course. Anything below third place wouldn’t be good, let’s say.”

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