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Transfer Rater: Todibo to Liverpool

Football Whispers
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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Paul Pogba firms as favourite to be Yaya's replacement at Man City

Will Paul Pogba replace Yaya Toure in the centre of Manchester City's midfield?

The January transfer window has snapped shut with a number of high-profile moves put on ice until the summer. With that in mind, here are today's juiciest rumours about the biggest deals set to happen come the end of the season...

City target Pogba as Toure replacement?

The bad news for Manchester City fans? Yaya Toure has hinted of late that his future could lie away from Manchester at the end of the season, a massive blow considering how badly the Premier League champions have struggled with the talismanic midfielder away at the African Nations Cup.

The good news? The Daily Express reports that the English champions have earmarked Paul Pogba as Toure's replacement, and are willing to spend big to beat the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United to the Juventus starlet's signature.

Manuel Pellegrini's side will face stiff competition from Europe's elite clubs for the 21-year-old's signature, but with City's star on the wane of late, landing former United player Pogba (despite the obvious financial fair play concerns) would show that they mean business once again.

Lloris to replace De Gea at Old Trafford?

Louis van Gaal will not be short of funds should David de Gea decide his future lies with Real Madrid rather than Manchester United this summer, and the Mirror reports that the Dutch coach will look to replace one of the Premier League's top goalkeepers for another one in Hugo Lloris.

The France No.1 has impressed hugely since moving from Lyon to Tottenham in 2012, and is now captain at White Hart Lane after a series of commanding displays.

Hugo Lloris put in another outstanding shift, this time in Spurs' 2-1 derby win over Arsenal.

The 28-year-old's future, however, could well hinge on whether Spurs qualify for the Champions League this season, and while a north London derby win over Arsenal on Saturday was a giant step in the right direction, Mauricio Pochettino's side are still fifth in the table -- United will be hard to resist if they return to the top this year.

Southampton trio stalling on contracts?

What more do Southampton need to do to convince their stars to stay at St Mary's? Despite a late win over QPR on Saturday to go third and keep their hopes of Champions League qualification firmly on track, the Mirror reports that Nathaniel Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez are all stalling on new contract offers.

Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool are all rumoured to be interested in 25-year-old old striker Rodriguez while 23-year-old Clyne is set to be the subject of a bid from Manchester United this summer. Schneiderlin, meanwhile, has also been linked with Spurs but may well end up making a move to Arsenal if the price is right.

If none can be persuaded to extend their deals on the south coast, Ronald Koeman may well have to sell and undergo another extensive summer rebuild.

Di Maria and the rest at risk of a United exit?

Despite stuttering performances of late, Manchester United could somehow find themselves within two points of second-placed Manchester City should Louis van Gaal's side navigate a tricky away trip to West Ham on Sunday.

The Dutch coach will be concerned over one of his star players though, with the Mirror reporting that Angel Di Maria's future in Manchester is far from certain after the midfielder's home was subject to an attempted break-in -- while he and his family were in the house -- and Paris Saint-Germain could well test the waters with a summer bid.

Louis Van Gaal has put his entire United squad on notice -- Di Maria included.

The United boss also says his whole squad is aware they are playing for their futures: "They know they have to perform. It always has to be 100 percent. Maybe a lot of players were not aware of that -- but now they know.

"It is not easy for me [to make tough decisions] because I know that most of my players are trying to do their utmost best. When you see that as a manager, then it is very hard to say to someone 'you have to go.'"

Hammers hoping to capture Song

Alex Song's performances for West Ham this season will have more established Premier League clubs wondering why they didn't also pursue a loan deal for the Barcelona midfielder, and the Cameroon international has hinted he could make his stay with the Hammers a permanent one.

With reported interest from both Liverpool and the Gunners, Song has insisted his first-choice would be to remain in London -- with his two sons delighted with his involvement at West Ham.

"They are more than happy," he said of his children's mood at returning to England.

"My boys were saying yesterday 'Daddy I don't want to leave here any more, you have to stay!' They love London.

"They are very happy here and for my family, the most important thing is happiness, all they want me to do is perform to make them happy."

Having become such an integral player for Sam Allardyce, it will be intriguing to see whether the Hammers' owners are prepared to spend big on the midfielder or else watch another capital club with deeper pockets snaps him up.

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