West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has said he turned down the chance to sign Yaya Toure after the player’s agent appeared to mock West Ham by saying the club “was not the place for him.”
Pellegrini managed the Ivorian during his time at Manchester City and a reunion had been mooted after Toure left the Etihad this summer.
However, he will join Greek side Olympiakos after passing a medical in London, as revealed by his agent, Dimitry Seluk.
Seluk’s tweet only specified that the medical was taking place in London, leading to speculation he would join a Premier League side based in the capital.
But he then quoted his own tweet, adding: “It’s not West Ham 100%. Yaya is a champion. The last place is not for him.”
Pellegrini then said that while he spoke to Toure, he was not in the market for another midfielder.
“Unfortunately, they were the words of Yaya’s agent,” the West Ham boss said, when asked about Seluk’s tweet. “I spoke to Yaya, I know him and appreciate him as a person. He is a very good player but in the moment, when we were doing our squad list, that position was covered for other players.
“We needed money to bring in players in other positions so we explained to Yaya clearly why he cannot come here.
“I hope he will find a good club, a big club because he is a very good player.”