Juventus have rejected a £50 million offer from Barcelona for midfielder Paul Pogba, according to the Catalan daily SPORT.
Although Barcelona are in the process of serving a FIFA-imposed two-window transfer ban, club officials understand they can continue to sign players until the embargo is lifted in January 2016.
Earlier this year, Barcelona uncovered two options which would allow them to circumnavigate the transfer ban:
1. The option would allow Barcelona to sign players, give them a normal working contract and then have them wait to play until January 2016 – similar to the circumstance this season when Luis Suarez was permitted to train with the first-team and participate in friendly matches while serving his four month FIFA-imposed ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup.
2. It would involve Barcelona reaching an agreement with the player, but then that individual would continue playing with his current team until January 2016. Much like when Bayern Munich reached agreements with Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski while they were at Borussia Dortmund. The players finished their seasons with Dortmund before moving on to Bayern at the conclusion of the campaign.
In late February, it was revealed that under-fire Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu had made signing Pogba from Juventus a priority in order to win favor with club supporters, thus enhancing his chances for re-election next summer.
Barcelona contacted Pogba’a agent Mino Raiola to express their desire to sign his client, but asked the representative to tell the France international to remain with Juventus until the Catalan club’s ban is over. The plan is for the club to sign Pogba, but immediately send him right back to Juventus on-loan until their transfer embargo is lifted.
Bartomeu wants to agree on a deal before the current season is over and use Pogba’s signing as an electoral weapon, similar to when former president Joan Laporta engineered the transfer of Ronaldinho from Paris Saint-Germain in 2003.
Today, it has been learned Juventus have reject Barcelona’s initial offer of £50 million for the star player.
SPORT reports Pogba is keen on joining the Catalan club because the midfielder feels they present the best opportunity for Champions League success.
However, Juventus – who are resigned to the fact they cannot hold on to the player – are holding out for a mega-money offer from one of the France international’s many suitors.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are reportedly interested in Pogba, with both clubs being able to afford the player’s massive transfer fee; as well as his huge yearly salary.
If Juventus hold out for a huge bid, it may ultimately rule Barcelona out of the running for the talented midfielder’s signature.
While the Catalan club is not short of money, they already have big money players in their squad (Messi, Neymar and Suarez) and won’t be able to break the bank in order to sign Pogba.
It will be interesting to see how this transfer develops over the coming weeks and months.
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