Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has described manager Manuel Pellegrini as a “father figure” and revealed he stayed with the club because of the Chilean.
Toure has endured a turbulent few years with City, who are priced at 1.91 to win the Premier League, and at times has appeared close to heading for the Etihad exit doors.
The midfielder’s agent, Dimitry Seluk, accused the City hierarchy of not caring last May after they failed to acknowledge Toure’s birthday.
Toure was linked with a move to Inter Milan and a reunion with Roberto Mancini in the closing months of last term, however, the deal never transpired.
The 32-year-old lost his brother Ibrahim last year and revealed that Pellegrini played a big role in helping him to stay on track.
Pellegrini was unable to get the best out of Toure last term but has remained faithful to the former Barcelona man and continues to hand him chances.
Toure said: “I’ve stayed because of Manuel.
“He always talks to me, giving me some piece of advice. He has been aware of my life off the pitch.
“He has been like a father to me in difficult moments. I have never felt like that with another coach.”
Toure also revealed that the squad is fully focused on getting back to winning ways this term as the aim to put to bed the disappointment of 2014-15.
He added: “Before this season, all the players had a talk and we promised the boss we would recover our level.
“We had to do it for him, for us and for the fans — we have to win important things this season.”