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Man City planning for post-Toure days with former Man Utd star

| 08.02.2015

Despite Manuel Pellegrini professing strongly otherwise, Manchester City rely heavily on Yaya Toure to win games.

Without their midfield powerhouse in the starting lineup, the defending Premier League champions have failed to win seven of the 10 games, although Pellegrini is keen to insist that the Citizens are far more than a one-man team.

Whether that is the case or not, City must be starting to realise that the day when Toure is unavailable permanently is fast approaching. At 31 retirement is not yet a real possibility, but it’s creeping ever closer, while the birthday cake fiasco proves the Ivorian isn’t as loyal to City’s cause as the fans may wish.

Finding a replacement for the former Barcelona anchorman is becoming a grave importance for the 7/1 title hopefuls, and it’s possible that they have their eye on one playing in Serie A.

Like Toure, Juventus’ Paul Pogba is an integral part of his side’s makeup. The Frenchman has only missed five matches for the Turin giants this season, but unlike City, Juve have coped far better in winning all of them.

A midfielder of brute strength with a stinging long-range shot and a never-ending engine, Pogba is eyed by the hierarchy at the Etihad as the perfect man to take over Toure’s reins.

It’s likely that Pogba’s future will dominate the summer transfer window, with both Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid interested in luring the midfielder away from Juventus, meaning City have a fight on their hands if they want to secure Pogba’s services.

Having let the player go for peanuts in 2012, Manchester United cannot be ruled out in trying to atone for their error either, but with a £50m price tag hanging around the players neck now, they’ll be making a serious loss on their one-time youth product.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.