Mino Raiola Reportedly Has Agreement in Principle with Barcelona over Paul Pogba

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Paul Pogba of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on October 6, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola reportedly has an agreement in principle with Barcelona regarding the Frenchman.

According to Rai Sport (h/t Calciomercato.com), Raiola and Barca have come to the agreement despite Manchester United being adamant their star will not be sold.

What's more, it's said Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal has been urging manager Ernesto Valverde to do his utmost to recruit his former Juventus team-mate.

Raiola hinted at the idea of Pogba leaving United back in August when he responded to criticism of the Frenchman by club legend Paul Scholes:

Mino Raiola @MinoRaiola

Paul Scholes should become sports director and advise Woodward to sell Pogba. Would be sleepless nights to find Pogba a new club @paulpogba

Pogba has struggled to justify the then-world record £89 million fee the Red Devils paid to bring him back from Juve in 2016.

The 25-year-old helped United win the UEFA Europa League and EFL Cup in his first season back at Old Trafford, while last year they finished second in the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final, but he has only shown his ability in patches.

Pogba offered a timely reminder of what he can do when on form at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, though, in which he played a key role in France's success.

Barca would need him to consistently perform at that level to justify his purchase, but as the Telegraph's Sam Wallace and ESPN's Mark Ogden noted, the Catalan giants have neither the resources nor the space to sign him or incorporate him into their current setup:

Mark Ogden @MarkOgden_

And that’s before you work out where he fits in a midfield with Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal, Coutinho. He’s stuck with United and they’re stuck with him. https://t.co/eXhjb99gmU

Unless the Blaugrana sell one of their top earners for a large fee, it seems they simply wouldn't be able to afford him at this moment in time, particularly as United's reluctance to part with him would drive any potential transfer fee up further.

Raiola may have an agreement in principle with them, but unless they can back it up in reality, the move is a non-starter.