The widely anticipated summer shake-up at Manchester City has begun after Liverpool confirmed a deal to sign Kolo Toure when his contract expires on July 1.
Ivorian centre-back Toure, 32, was signed from Arsenal in 2009 for £16 million, making the trip north alongside striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
But after replacing popular Irishman Richard Dunne as captain, a missed drugs test in 2010 and Vincent Kompany’s transformation into a world-beating defender means recent opportunities have been limited.
A Liverpool statement said: “Liverpool Football Club can today announce they have agreed a deal in principle with Kolo Toure to join the club on July 1.
“The powerful defender will be registered as a Reds player when his current deal with Manchester City expires.”
Toure partnered Joleon Lescott at the back as City made an encouraging start to the 2009/10 season under Mark Hughes.
When Roberto Mancini replaced the Welshman however, the Ivorian international often partnered Kompany instead as City just missed out on Champions League football.
The following season Toure – who by this point had been joined at the club by younger brother Yaya – missed a drugs test after taking one of his wife’s dietary pills.
His six-month ban meant he missed City’s FA Cup Final win in 2011 and upon his return he had to play second fiddle to Kompany and Lescott as the Blues won the Premier League.
He leaves City having made 102 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals.
Image courtesy of Manchester City FC, via YouTube, with thanks