Liverpool make early summer swoop for City defender Toure

LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers has begun strengthening his squad for next season by signing defender Kolo Toure on a free transfer.

The 32-year-old will leave managerless Manchester City on 1 July following the expiration of his contract and sign a two-year deal with the Reds, having passed a medical yesterday.

Toure found first team opportunities hard to come by last season, after being left out of City’s 25-man Champions League squad. But with Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher retiring this summer, Toure will hope to be given the opportunity to resurrect his career at Anfield.

Toure made 102 appearances for City since completing a £14m move from Arsenal in 2009.

The Ivory Coast centre-back, who has won 105 international caps, picked up a Premier League winners medal under former manager Roberto Mancini, adding to the title he won with the Arsenal team that finished an entire season unbeaten in 2004.

However, Toure served a six-month suspension for failing a drugs test in 2011, claiming to have taken his wife’s diet pills unaware they contained a banned substance, causing him to miss out on City’s FA Cup success.