LONDON (AP) — Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Touré trained Friday with fourth-division English club Leyton Orient.
The 37-year-old Touré — currently without a club — lives nearby and had reached out about training so he can stay in shape.
The club posted photos on social media of Touré in an Orient training jersey with comments such as “League Two ain’t ready.”
Touré, who helped Man City win three Premier League titles, said in an interview for the club’s youtube channel that he’s been stuck at home in London because of the coronavirus pandemic after helping Qingdao Huanghai win promotion to the Chinese first division.
When asked what’s next — and that it’s unlikely to be with Leyton Orient — Touré laughed and said, “could be.”
“I just want to enjoy it until the last minute because football for me is everything,” said Touré, who also won a Champions League title with Barcelona. “They allowed me to train with the lads. The manager was fantastic. Everybody welcomed me here and I feel like I’m at home. Want to train and do it my best and maybe we’ll see.”
Touré, who competed in three World Cups for Ivory Coast, did some running and stretching Friday. He plans to return Monday and will increase his workload through the week.
Orient coach Ross Embleton told the club’s website that “we thought it was a joke” when Touré’s agent contacted them 10 days prior. They soon realized the request was “the real deal.” He said his squad can learn from Touré.
“Any opportunity to get a player of his quality, one of the best in the world, is fantastic,” Embleton said. “He comes across as a really good character, and it will give our players a really good opportunity to learn from him in the experience.”
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