Barcelona wanted to sign Pogba but were priced out of move, claims advisor
Paul Pogba is close to becoming a Manchester United player, but the Frenchman was nearly a Barcelona signing, with their international advisor claiming that the Catalans were priced out of a move. Juventus are about to sign off on a world record fee of £108 million, but Areido Braida has revealed that Barcelona were also interested in signing the Frenchman.
Speaking to Italian news outlet Canale 21, Braida revealed exactly why Barcelona were unable to sign Pogba, saying “We know Pogba, he is a player who proved to be very strong and, for a while, Barcelona were interested, but clearly the dynamics changed and once the figures reached a certain point, we were no longer interested.”
“It's hard to keep up at some stage, because you don't only have to consider the price of the transfer fee, but also the player's salary. Over the course of five years, that can amount to tens of millions.”
Braida also spoke about the impact of TV rights on the transfer, saying “Clearly when you talk about figures that go over €100million, you need to reflect on them. It all comes down to the TV rights that brought in a lot of money and completely changed the logic of the transfer market. Clearly all players are overrated to some degree or another at this stage.”
Barcelona’s struggle to attract forward-thinking players
While Barcelona have been active in the transfer market, the Catalans have seen moves for attacking players break down, with Nolito previously rejecting an offer from Barcelona and opting to sign for Pep Guardiola in Manchester City. Thus, Barcelona activated a buyback clause for Denis Suarez of Villarreal, hoping he will be enough to provide backup for their superstar front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr.
While the breakdown in talks for Pogba was for a financial reason, Robert Fernandez, technical director of Barcelona outlined the difficulty in attracting players, saying “We have such a good team that it's difficult to sign players, we have a top team with a brilliant dressing room. Everything is calibrated, but there are certain signings you can't even begin to broach; There are players who don't want to come to Barcelona.”
Players such as Pedro, who left the club due to limited playing time, are finding successors, with Turkish star Arda Turan also looking to leave the club as Barcelona face a disconcerting exodus of players.