Laporta: Toure will stay at Barcelona

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has stated his desire to keep midfielder Yaya Toure at Camp Nou, in the face of reported interest from Premier League trio Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Toure, brother of City defender Kolo, has only started five of Barcelona’s 13 La Liga matches so far this season, and was unhappy at being left out of the starting XI for last weekend’s victory over rivals Real Madrid.

"My situation is astonishing. I have to take a personal decision about all this," the Ivorian told France Football.

"I need more minutes because I am not playing enough. But the coach is the one that has to decide if I play or not." The former Olympiacos and Monaco midfielder was a regular in the Barca side during his first two seasons since arriving in Catalonia in 2007, but the 26-year-old has found first-team football harder to come by in 2009/10, and will be keen to play as much as possible in order to nail down his place in the Ivory Coast side for next summer's World Cup.

However Laporta is adamant that Toure will remain with the European champions, praising the player’s hunger for competitive action.

"Toure is an important player and we have achieved great results with him on the pitch. I'm a big fan of Yaya Toure," he said.

"Toure's words are typical of a high-class footballer who wants to do his utmost to help the team, so you have to interpret his remarks positive.

"I expect Toure to play at Barcelona for many years to come, because no one is thinking about getting rid of him."