Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has rubbished all the reports about the club trying to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus this summer.
“We will not buy Pogba this year,” said Bartomeu, as reported by Tom Adams of Eurosport. “We are not planning with him for next season. He is not part of our sporting plans for 2015-16 at this stage.”
Gazette Dello Sport reported that Juve had rejected the Catalan club’s €80 million offer for Pogba.
This comment from Bartomeu has come as a major surprise to many fans as on June 8, the Barcelona president suggested that Pogba was a key target for the European champions: “It is true that Pogba is a leading target of ours and obviously we are interested, but I can’t say anything more,” he said.
Barcelona are having presidential elections on July 18, in which Bartomeu will be standing up against former president Joan Laporta. And much of Pogba’s future could depend on whether Bartomeu retains his presidential post. “Pogba would be one of the best additions,” Laporta told Catalunya Radio on June 25.
Laporta recently said that the failure to sign the French midfielder “made Barcelona look bad,” per Cadena. Inital reports suggested that Pogba will join Barcelona at the end of the transfer ban imposed on them till January 2016.
But Juve CEO Giuseppe Marotta insisted that the 22-year-old midfielder will remain in Turin next season, reported by Sky Italia: “Pogba? Many words have been said, but Juventus don’t let their most important players go. He’s a player who will be part of the group of next season.”
Though Pogba will be an asset to any team, there is every possibility that both Bartomeu and Laporta are using Pogba’s potential move to Barcelona as a tool to win the presidential elections.