Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde plays down Paul Pogba transfer talk

by Leo Nieboer

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has played down talk of signing Paul Pogba from Manchester United this month.

The Frenchman, who won the World Cup over the summer, was reportedly disappointed with Jose Mourinho’s comments over his performances in Russia, prompting further speculation of a move away from Old Trafford.

Having overseen the departure of Andres Iniesta, a bid of £45m plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes for Pogba was submitted by Barcelona last week, which Man United duly rejected.

Valverde, when asked about the midfielder, was quick to distance himself from any transfer rumours.

“We are never going to find another Andres Iniesta, that’s impossible because there is only one and he is in Japan,” he said.

“I don’t think about signings. I think about my team and preparing for the next match. That’s my plan, although everything is up in the air until the window closes.”

Barcelona’s interest United’s star outfield player makes enough sense, and certainly seems genuine. Iniesta’s departure, after all, has left massive hole only a player of Pogba’s personality and ability could fill.

Arthur Melo, who arrived from Gremio, is a promising player but only 21; Arturo Vidal, a name United fans know all too well, does not offer the same driving force up the pitch; Paulinho and Ivan Rakitic are not good enough on the ball.

But the chances of United – and specifically Ed Woodward – letting go of their star asset for any price are practically zero.

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