Tuesday 14 August 2018

Man United tell Barca Pogba not for sale at any price after being offered two players and €50m

Paul Pogba, right, has been the subject of speculation (Nick Potts/PA)
Paul Pogba, right, has been the subject of speculation (Nick Potts/PA)

Sam Wallace

Manchester United have told Barcelona they have no interest in selling Paul Pogba, their €99m World Cup-winning midfielder in whom the club have invested to bring them success on the pitch, and commercially off it, over the forthcoming years.

The club have not entertained assumptions he might be available, with the suggestion that his agent, Mino Raiola, was trying to construct a deal in which the Frenchman was acquired by Barcelona in return for around €50m and the pair of Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina.

Pogba was back at Carrington this week and it remains to be seen whether he is part of Mourinho's plan for Friday's season-opener against Leicester at Old Trafford.

Ed Woodward, the club's chief executive, is understood to have been dismissive of any notion that Pogba would be allowed to leave, whatever strains there may be in the relationship with manager Jose Mourinho.

Nevertheless, it has been a frustrating end to the transfer window, with the prospect now that they may be unable to make any signings before tomorrow's 5pm deadline that has proven such a problem for clubs such as United and Tottenham Hotspur.

United have been quoted enormous prices for the likes of Jerome Boateng and Mina, and faced complete resistance to a sale in the case of Harry Maguire.

Panicked

The early deadline has meant that non-Premier League clubs in particular, and some agents, have forced demands high in the expectation that some English clubs could be panicked into buying players because they fear being left short.

Mourinho is expected to give his first Premier League pre-match press conference of the season tomorrow and the reaction of the manager will be instructive, given his downbeat attitude in pre-season.

The wisdom of moving the deadline date forward to before the start of the season will surely be looked at again, given its effect on some of the top clubs.

United were among those who voted for the change, which was introduced largely so that players were focused on their own clubs, although the disadvantages have far outweighed the benefit.

Having spent almost €70m over the past two years on Eric Bailly and, more recently, Victor Lindelof, in pursuit of the defensive excellence Mourinho has sought - with mixed results - there is reluctance at United to pay the vastly inflated fees being asked of them.

They have farmed out Axel Tuanzebe on loan, and will look to do the same with Timothy Fosu-Mensah, in the hope the pair will soon be ready. (© Daily Telegraph, London).

Telegraph.co.uk

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport