The unbeaten run of games by Arsenal’s “Invincibles” five years ago was ended in Manchester (at Old Trafford) in October 2004, and it now looks certain that the same city will greet the last member of that Invicibles team to leave the club, as Kolo Toure is hours away from being named the latest Manchester City signing this summer.
Media reports this morning indicate that the Ivory Coast defender is close to being officially named a City player, with an online article from Sky Sports revealing that “Toure has agreed a four-year deal with the Eastlands club and his signing could be confirmed within the next 24 hours.”
According to that report and other sports news outlets, the 28-year-old left Arsenal’s training camp in Austria to undergo a medical at Eastlands today, with the two clubs finalizing terms of the transfer (a purported fee of £15 to 16 million) for Toure to complete the move to Man City.
Manager Arsene Wenger did play Toure on Monday night in Arsenal’s pre-season friendly in Hungary, but indicated yesterday that his once vice-captain might be leaving the club.
“We will see what’s happening in the next 24 hours, nothing is decided yet,” said the Frenchman. “We have seven centre-backs and I am in the position where I have to play some in midfield, but of course Kolo is a very good player and we will see what will happen in the next 24 hours.”
Toure joined Arsenal in 2002 as a midfielder yet soon became a fixture at center back after veterans like Tony Adams and Martin Keown ended their playing careers in North London. Once the Toure deal is finalized, Arsenal will have received around £40 million from Manchester City in the past week for two of its players.
With club supporters wondering what Arsenal might do with that cash, Wenger hinted that he might make more signings before the transfer window closes.
“I am more focused on getting everybody fit for the start of the season but we are looking at opportunities as well,” the manager told Arsenal TV Online on Tuesday. “There are still some pre-season games to see what we really need. When the time comes we will do something.”
The next of those preseason encounters comes today, with the Gunners traveling to Germany to face Hannover 96 in a friendly, the last of its three matches held during its time training in Austria.