Albert Soler: Barcelona had reached an agreement with Juventus over Paul Pogba

by Leo Nieboer

Barcelona’s sporting relations director Albert Soler has claimed the Catalan side had priority to sign Paul Pogba last summer.

The Frenchman completed his world record move to Manchester United last month, signing for £89m after four years with Juventus.

However, according to Soler, an agreement had been reached last summer which entailed that Barcelona would have priority over the midfielder.

“We reached an agreement with Juventus that we would have priority on any move for Pogba,” explained Soler.

“However, Juventus did not wish to sell at that time and we ourselves were electing our new President.

“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.”

Beating both Real Madrid and Barcelona to a player is a strong testament to Man United’s global stature. Even after three years of painful mediocrity on the pitch, a time period which has seen both Spanish sides win the Champions League, United continue to loom large, forever the juggernauts of world football.

As for Pogba and Barcelona, it is perhaps a blessing for both parties that the transfer didn’t happen: Barcelona’s system, whilst mightily effective, wouldn’t have allowed Pogba to rampage forward from midfield, flattening defenders and setting up attacks. Such a system, therefore, prohibits the 23-year-old from reaching his potential, who would have been reduced to role similar to that of Ivan Rakitic.

And as seen already, Pogba is far, far more than just a deep-lying, ball playing midfielder.

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