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Toure joins the Emirates exodus

PUBLISHED: 18:19 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:20 07 September 2010

LONDON - AUGUST 23:  Kolo Toure of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage on August 23, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

LONDON - AUGUST 23: Kolo Toure of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage on August 23, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

ARSENAL are to allow their longest-serving player Kolo Toure to leave as big-spending Manchester City raid the Emirates again. Having already paid the Gunners £25m for Emmanuel Adebayor, Mark Hughes has now made a second bid to tempt Toure to Eastlands

ARSENAL are to allow their longest-serving player Kolo Toure to leave as big-spending Manchester City raid the Emirates again.

Having already paid the Gunners £25m for Emmanuel Adebayor, Mark Hughes has now made a second bid to tempt Toure to Eastlands, and this time it looks to have been successful.

City first tried to sign the Ivory Coast international, who has been with the Gunners for over seven years, back in January, but Arsenal resisted their offer.

However, with the billions of Arab owners the Abu Dhabi United Group to spend, Hughes has come back with a £14m offer and wages in excess of £100,000 a week, and Toure looks set to join by the weekend.

Toure joined Arsenal for a fee of just £150,000 from Ivorian club Asec Mimosas in 2002, and has since made almost 300 appearances for the Gunners, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups.

With almost £40m added to club coffers in the space of two weeks, the focus will once again be on Arsene Wenger to spend with the new season just over two weeks away.

But the Gunners boss has remained frugal thus far, having spent just £10m on Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen in June.

"We have seven centre-backs and I am in the position where I have to play some in midfield, but of course Kolo is a very good player," said Wenger on Tuesday.

"I am more focused on getting everybody fit for the start of the season but we are looking at opportunities as well. When the time comes we will do something."

Wenger has been linked with Fulham's Finland international Brede Hangeland but is more likely to move for Midlesbrough's England Under-21 international David Wheater.

n The Gunners host the Emirates Cup this weekend, with clashes against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, and then Scottish champions Rangers on Sunday. Both games kick off at 4.15pm.


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