Yaya Toure could be approaching the end of his time at Manchester City – a spell in which he wanted to help turn the club into a “winning machine” like Barcelona and Manchester United.
The 33-year-old midfielder is out of contract at the end of this season, having won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup over the six previous campaigns at the Etihad Stadium.
This does not amount to quite the period of dominance Toure envisaged but he believes City are on the right track under his former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
“I think we are moving forward because we have a great manager,” he told the Times of India.
“I believe in future we can be a perfect team. But step by step you have to do it. I think we are getting nearer to what the manager wants and we must continue.
“My time here has been great and I have always enjoyed it. The plan at this club was always to bring in the players to win, to change the club into a winning machine like Manchester United or Barcelona.
“That’s what made me decide to come here. That’s what we have.”
City face Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, with strengthening their place within the top four the primary objective, even allowing for leaders Chelsea suffering a shock loss at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
“The main aim is to finish the season strongly and to fight till the end,” Toure said.
“Finishing in the top four and giving the Champions League to the fans again next season is important.
“You can never give up [on catching Chelsea], we have to fight. And we are also in the semi-finals of the FA Cup that’s a brilliant cup and we want to win it.”
Toure’s winner in the 2011 FA Cup final versus Stoke City sealed a first major trophy in 35 years for City and, with a semi-final against Arsenal coming up later this month, it is a competition he is keen to taste glory in once more.
“With the players we have, it would be beautiful to win together,” he added.
“The FA Cup is a big target. I’ve been at this club a long time and I know what winning a trophy means here.”