Toure’s controversial agent is an eccentric, extravagantly-dressed Ukrainian who the Man City star calls ‘Papushka’ and treats like a father… but Pep Guardiola is no fan
London, Monday @Peoplesport11
Two interviews – three weeks apart, six years ago – was when Yaya Toure’s ‘Papushka’ Dmitri Seluk announced himself to English football and had already spread his cards fairly thinly.
Toure was on his way out of Barcelona. Seluk, not an agent those in the Premier League knew at all back then, had cried foul at his client being undervalued at the Nou Camp, paid far less than his contemporaries.
But rather than petty squabbles via the Catalan press, it was in the process of moving the Ivorian to Britain – just as Cesc Fabregas was making a switch to Barca – that showed quite how much flip-flopping goes on in the world of Seluk.
Arsenal and Manchester City were the parties keen on a midfielder who had more to give than shown under Pep Guardiola. Time for Seluk to strike – his big moment to hit the jackpot. May 19, 2010: ‘Toure is not going to replace Cesc. He will not play for Arsenal.
There are very big clubs who are interested and we like these options more.’ Negotiations with City were not smooth, so Seluk, an eccentric Ukrainian, went for another hit.
Despite their vast wealth, they were acting like a ‘bankrupt’ club, he moaned. June 7, 2010: ‘There’s a lot of interest in the deal for Toure. Arsene Wenger likes him and Arsenal are interested. If the conditions are good, everything can be finished soon.’ By July 2, Toure had penned a five-year deal with Roberto Mancini’s City, worth £220,000 a week.
When Toure said Seluk can say one thing and do the other, he meant it. But he has allowed the 52-year-old to control his affairs for 15 years, so strong is their bond. Toure even named his eldest son after his confidant.
Seluk – known for his extravagant dress – has homes in Barcelona and Monaco but City saw him secure new-found riches, plus sponsorship contracts worth more than £3million a year with the likes of Nissan and Puma. -DAILYMAIL