When Liverpool signed Kolo Toure on a free transfer in the summer of 2013, they hoped his veteran presence could help lead them past a string of mediocre seasons.
He made 20 league appearances in his first year at Anfield and Liverpool nearly won the Premier League title. Though his defensive form was often subpar -- he scored an infamous own goal down the stretch against Fulham that almost cost the Reds vital points -- his positive energy was a constant throughout the season.
Toure's willingness to be a leader for his younger teammates has continued since then, even as his own playing time has dwindled. But as a 35-year-old center back on an expiring contract, his Liverpool future remained uncertain entering the summer.
Now, the club have decided to release the defender, according to the Echo. The decision will be finalized this afternoon when his name is published on a list of released players submitted to the Premier League.
Jose Enrique, Jerome Sinclair and Jordan Rossiter are also expected to be on the list, but their departures had already been sealed.
Liverpool considered offering Toure a coaching role, according to the Echo's report, but decided against it after learning of the defender's desire to continue playing. He's been linked with a move to Monaco, but he's still considering his options.
With this news coming just after former Reds defender Daniel Agger announced his retirement, there are a lot of feelings going around. Hopefully Toure will have a chance to continue his career somewhere else as he accumulates more adorable gifs and memes in the process. It's been a fun couple of years with him at Anfield.