Barcelona are starting to believe a mega deal for Manchester United star Paul Pogba is actually possible and have moved him up to the top of their “dream” shortlist, according to reports in Spain.
Mundo Deportivo ran with a picture of Pogba on their front page on Thursday with the headline “Pogba, The Desired”. They claim new director of football Eric Abidal wants to make an impression in his new role by bringing him to the Nou Camp.
It is said that Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola offered Barcelona the deal earlier this year, but they were put off by the gigantic financial commitment it would take to prise him from Old Trafford.
However, Barcelona have saved money by not signing Antoine Griezmann, who was expected to join for £88 million this summer, and have watched with interest as Pogba’s disillusionment under Jose Mourinho has grown.
The Catalan newspaper report that Pogba would jump at the chance to leave Old Trafford for the second time in his career, and his relationship with Abidal puts Barcelona at a significant advantage to other potential suitors.
With strength, power and the ability to score goals, Pogba ticks all the boxes for Barcelona as they look to find a talismanic replacement for Andres Iniesta, who brought his long association with the club to an end this summer.
As an added bonus, Pogba would also bring with him leadership qualities as well as a wealth of experience at the top end of the game.
He won the World Cup with France this summer and myriad titles with Juventus previously.
But there are significant obstacles to overcome. Manchester United would demand a huge profit on the £89m they paid to sign him in 2016. Although that was then a world-record fee, the transfer market has inflated markedly since then and they could conceivably demand double that figure.
They are also unlikely to sell without the option to reinvest in a replacement and the transfer window in England closes in a week. That leaves Barcelona with little time to broker such a huge deal. -DAILYMAIL