Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has attempted to play down transfer links with Manchester United star Paul Pogba, though he certainly didn’t rule out signing him.
Describing the France international as a ‘great’ player, Valverde merely stated that he preferred not to talk about specific players from other clubs, though he also remains open to the possibility of new additions at the Nou Camp before the end of the transfer window.
This follows strong claims from the print edition of Tuttosport (reported by Mundo Deportivo) that Pogba has held talks with Barcelona chief Eric Abidal over a switch to the Catalan giants this summer.
Valverde’s latest quotes in the Metro do not exactly do a huge amount to dampen the speculation, and it would certainly make sense for Pogba to be a target for Barca given their issues in midfield after the departures of Andres Iniesta and Paulinho this summer.
‘Pogba is a great player, who is on another team and we are always very respectful of the players on other teams. We respect the player and the teams they are on,’ the Spanish tactician said.
‘Is the transfer market closed for signing more players? We’ll see how the market is going, but I’m the coach and my idea is to take advantage of the players we have.’
Pogba could also do with a change of club after failing to fulfil his enormous potential at Old Trafford.
Shining as one of the best players in the world at Juventus, the 25-year-old has only truly shown that old form again when playing in a more free role with the French national team, with whom he won the World Cup this summer.
Pogba was instrumental to Les Bleus’ success as he scored a superb goal to cap a fine display in the 4-2 final victory over Croatia, and he may need to escape United boss Jose Mourinho to find another manager who can allow him to play his natural game in this way.
Barcelona’s traditional commitment to attacking football makes Pogba an ideal fit, so it’ll be interesting to see how this story develops in the coming days.