Thursday 23 November 2017

Barcelona claim they had agreement in place to sign Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

Mark Critchley

A Barcelona official has claimed that the club had an agreement in place to sign Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba last summer, only to decide against the signing.

Albert Soler, Barça’s director of professional sports, revealed that talks were held with Pogba’s former club Juventus last year and a first option agreement was negotiated.

"Last year we agreed with Juve that if they wanted to sell Pogba during that window we would have priority,” Soler told journalists at a press conference discussing Barça’s transfer window.

“However, Juventus did not want to sell and we did not need to try and push it. We were in an electoral campaign and a signing of that calibre could not be made by a provisional board."

"The meeting in Turin served two purposes - firstly to give the elected President time to consider a potential signing and also to ensure that no other club signed Pogba in the meantime."

Pogba subsequently stayed at Juventus for a further year before joining United for a world-record £89m transfer fee.

Soler cited Pogba’s move as an example of how the Premier League’s spending power dwarfs that of other European leagues.

Soler went on to call for an adaptation of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations to counteract the new money flooding into English football.

"Uefa and Fifa have to implement a way of regulating [spending]. When FFP was created, the Premier League didn't have as much money as it does now, so it needs to be adapted.

“It's not normal that there are such big differences,” he added.

"If it continues like this, with one club able to spend €120m on one player, it's going to cost more and more all the time to get the best players.

“Our most expensive recent signing was Luis Suarez and even then the club had to make economic adjustments."

Independent News Service

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