On the day Yaya Toure turned 32, he was urged to stay at Manchester City by team-mate Wilfried Bony.
Twelve months ago, Toure was at the centre of one of the most farcical transfer tales in history.
The City midfielder agitated for a move away from the Etihad Stadium after becoming annoyed at the club for apparently failing to mark his 31st birthday sufficiently.
The player’s adviser Dimitri Seluk complained his client was “upset” because officials at City failed to shake his hand on his birthday, adding: “It’s really sick.”
A year on, Seluk has cast doubt on Toure’s position at City, claiming recently that the Ivory Coast international was “90 per cent” certain to leave the club this summer.
Toure played a big part in persuading Bony to move to the Etihad Stadium from Swansea in January and the striker wants his City and Ivory Coast team-mate to stay.
“I talk to him about it all the time. He knows what I think. He brought me here so he needs to stay,” the City striker said.
“He told me about this being a big club, how we were the champions.
“He told me it was a club that always fights – and I am always a fighter so I liked that. He told me about the pressure, everything.”
City fans have been doing all they can to make sure their midfielder stays.
They sang Happy Birthday to the player during Sunday’s 6-0 defeat of QPR and some supporters even created a giant card for the big Ivorian.
And City’s players all want Toure to stay, according to Bony.
He said: “For sure everyone wants to keep him here.
“He’s a legend for this club for sure, he always will be.
“We hope he stays, he’s a big player here and we know everything he is doing for the club.”
Toure had to make do with a 15-minute cameo this weekend though as Manuel Pellegrini opted to start him on the bench.
Toure has scored eight league goals so far this season – less than half the tally he amassed last year – but Bony thinks it is important not to be too hard on his team-mate.
“It’s been difficult for him, but you have to remember it’s been three years where there’s been big tournaments, World Cup and the African Nations Cup,” he said
“You need to play a lot of matches, you are playing in high temperatures, it’s not easy. Injuries can also occur in that time, the pressure and expectations are high.
“There are some things in football you can’t control, like when the tournaments come round, when you get injured. You just have to try to deal with them and help the team.”