Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has confirmed that Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba is one of their top summer transfer targets.
Speaking less than 48 hours after the Champions League final - which saw Barça record a 3-1 win over Juve - Bartomeu told reporters that Pogba is the club's high-profile transfer target.
Europe's top clubs all have a keen interest in Pogba, 22, including the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid - but it's understood the classy midfielder would prefer a move to Barcelona.
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“It is true that Pogba is a leading target of ours and obviously we are interested, but I can’t say anything more," Bartomeu was quoted as saying by The Sun. “We are forbidden to recruit players until January, so I can’t talk about it.”
Bartomeu's closing statement, however, is not entirely true. Barcelona are permitted to sign players and, indeed, they have already done so.
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Real Madrid in strong position to lure Pogba
The Catalan giants confirmed the £16 million signing of Aleix Vidal from Sevilla on Sunday. Bartomeu was merely alluding to the fact Barcelona are unable to register new signings until January, but this doesn't mean the club can't strike a deal to sign Pogba over the forthcoming weeks.
What it does mean, though, is that Real Madrid are in a strong position to lure Pogba to the Bernabeu.
Pogba has little interest in joining PSG or one of the aforementioned Premier League clubs and has his heart set a move to Spain. He has not closed the door on Real Madrid, who will desperate to make him their marquee signing to appease the frustrated fans who have just watched fierce rivals Barcelona lift all three major trophies.
Will Pogba choose Zidane or Messi?
That Barcelona are unable to offer Pogba first-team football until January does pose several significant problems.
It seems inconceivable that Barça would agree to send him out on loan for the first half of the 2015-16 campaign - what happens, for example, if he was to suffer a serious injury during that timeframe? - but whether Pogba would be content to train with the club for six months before making his debut is highly doubtful.
The former Manchester United starlet, who has established his status as the best young midfielder on the planet since leaving Old Trafford in 2012, was urged to join Real Madrid last week by none other than the great Zinedine Zidane - Pogba's compatriot who inspired the Juventus star during his formative years.
But it's no secret that Pogba also looks up to the world's best player - and arguably the greatest footballer of all time - Lionel Messi.
Which club will Paul Pogba be playing for next season? Tell us by leaving a comment in the box below!
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