Paddy Power wished Yaya Toure an early happy birthday, by flying a giant banner over the Etihad Stadium ahead of Manchester City’s lunchtime clash with QPR on Sunday.
Aiming to avoid the birthday balls-up that ruined Toure’s big day last season, the bookmaker decided to send the “HAPPY BIRTHDAY YAYA” message after discovering a Bugatti was out of budget, and a text message was impossible without the Ivorian’s number.
With Toure’s future at the Etihad looking more uncertain than Miley Cyrus’ sexuality, the kind gesture could be viewed as a last-ditch effort to tempt the midfielder to stay in England next season.
A spokesman for Paddy Power said:
City weren’t in the party mood but Yaya’s smile was priceless and it was the least we could do for him after last year’s birthday debacle. City fans got well into the birthday spirit until they realised the pilot was his agent in a plane destined for Milan, and QPR chaiman Tony Fernandes just looked p**sed off we didn’t use his airline.
Toure turns 32 on Wednesday and after last year’s cake-gate debacle, manager Manuel Pellegrini said at his press conference that City wouldn’t make the same mistake twice – so the online bookie decided to help them out.
Paddy Power took to the skies over the Etihad ahead of the Citizens’ clash with QPR to remind the club to buy the Ivorian international a birthday cake after last year’s farce when the midfielder’s agent Dimitri Seluk said his player would quit the club after the birthday celebrations’ snub.
Seluk, from the Katie Hopkins school of getting yourself noticed, has started to stir it again and said he was “90 per cent certain” that Toure would leave City after five years at the club.
Inter Milan, now managed by former City boss Roberto Mancini are thought to be chasing Yaya’s signature and Paddy Power has priced the Italian giants at 4/6 to be the midfielder’s next club with PSG 6/1 and Barcelona 9/1.