Barcelona Reportedly Haven't Given Up on Paul Pogba Transfer

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 10, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Paul Pogba of Manchester United looks on during The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on April 21, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly refusing to admit defeat in their pursuit of Manchester United star Paul Pogba.

Mundo Deportivo reported that the Blaugrana believe they still have a chance of recruiting the France international and hope that agent Mino Raiola has the means to execute his client's second exit from Old Trafford (h/t Mirror's Andrew Gilpin).

La Liga's summer transfer window doesn't close until 10:59 p.m. BST on August 31, but the chances of United selling a key star appear to be slim considering they are no longer able to bring in a replacement following the Premier League's deadline on Thursday.

Pogba's relationship with manager Jose Mourinho is thought to be strained, and the Red Devils' failure to recruit more heavily this past summer threatens to sow more discontent among the United ranks.

However, ESPN FC pundit Julien Laurens has spoken against claims of Pogba's unhappiness at the Theatre of Dreams and said on Thursday that a move to Barcelona is not on the cards:


Paul Pogba to Barcelona is a non-starter according to @LaurensJulien... #DeadlineDay https://t.co/Ue7UVseO25

The report mentioned Barca's most recent offer to sign Pogba, a payment of €50 million (£45 million) plus midfielder Andre Gomes and centre-back Yerry Mina, each of whom has since joined Everton (the former on a season-long loan), per BBC Sport.

Only two years have passed since Pogba rejoined the Red Devils for a club-record £89 million, and writer Sam Pilger felt Barca's player-plus-cash bid was an insult despite the Frenchman's struggles since returning to England:

Sam Pilger @sampilger

Barcelona’s bid for Paul Pogba of €50 million plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes must have been done by the work experience boy for a laugh on his last day...

The Times reported that Mourinho was unhappy with Raiola because the agent is said to have agreed personal terms on behalf of his client with both Barca and former club Juventus (h/t Gilpin).

Contrary to Laurens' report, Jack Otway of the Daily Express said Pogba wants to leave United:

Jack Otway @JackOtwayJourno

Paul Pogba has told Manchester United he wants to leave for Barcelona. And now the board have a decision to make. Manager who looks like he wants out vs player who wants out because of manager. In short, a mess #MUFC #FCB

In spite of any criticism he might have received last season, Pogba still chipped in with 10 assists in 2,151 Premier League minutes. That's as many assists as Liverpool's Mohamed Salah or Tottenham Hotspur stars Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli put up despite the fact Pogba played at least roughly 800 fewer minutes than each.

Barcelona may feel they still have a chance of tempting their target to Catalonia, but United are unlikely to accept the loss of such a crucial figure given they could only replace him with a player from their current squad.

That's without mentioning the furore any sale would stir among the fans, who were delighted to welcome back Pogba to the club in 2016 following the four years he spent at Juventus.

Barca belong among that elite bracket of clubs for whom you can never rule out a deal, though tempting Manchester United to sell Pogba at this stage of the summer is likely beyond even their reach.