Tuesday 22 October 2019

Barca will keep tabs on Paul Pogba as tension with Jose Mourinho continues

Paul Pogba. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Paul Pogba. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Jason Burt

Barcelona will continue to pursue Paul Pogba after the summer transfer window closes on August 31, with the Spanish club well aware of the midfielder's issues at Manchester United.

Barcelona privately accept that United will not sell Pogba this month, but will continue their interest in the same way that led them to eventually sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool last January.

It is believed the deal is being driven by Pogba's agent Mino Raiola.

Barcelona are likely to return in January or even next summer with a vastly improved offer for the 25-year-old and will closely monitor both his mood and his relationship with Jose Mourinho in the meantime.

Despite claims to the contrary, the Catalans insist that they do have the money to buy a player like Pogba and that they had earmarked funds to bring in Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid before he signed a new contract.

United remain adamant that Pogba is not for sale at any price - or in any window.

The French World Cup winner is well aware of their stance and how much they value him and is broadly happy to stay at Old Traford for the moment, but wants to feel more support.

Praised

Pogba captained United in their 2-1 win against Leicester last Friday - a move regarded as an olive branch from Mourinho, who also praised the player's performance.

However, the midfielder hinted in his post-match interview that tensions still exist in his relationship with Mourinho, going as far as to suggest that he would be fined if he told the truth about his true state of mind.

He also failed to mention Mourinho when praising fans and team-mates.

Pogba added: "You have to know one thing. A player that gets chosen and is happy, you always feel more comfortable than when he's not happy. That's all I'll say."

Pogba's mentality has been questioned by Mourinho and he was left out of United's Champions League tie against Sevilla last season.

"I am the same Paul Pogba (as at the World Cup). It's a different team, obviously, but I still love football and give my best. When you are comfortable, when people trust everyone, are good in the head, it's going to be easier," Pogba said.

"If you're not happy doing what you're doing, there's no point doing it, right? There's a point doing things just because you love it."

Asked if he was happy, Pogba replied: 'There are things I cannot say. Otherwise I will get fined." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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