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Manchester United transfer news: Barcelona pull out of race for Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba
(Image credit: PA)

Paul Pogba is yet to sign a contract extension with Manchester United, increasing speculation that he will be on the move next summer.

According to Sport, he has been offered to some of Europe’s top clubs by his agent Mino Raiola, but Barcelona are unlikely to pursue their initial interest.

After crunching the numbers, they have concluded that they couldn’t justify paying Pogba’s huge wage and signing-on fee given the club’s dire financial circumstances.

Mounting debt and a spiralling wage budget left president Joan Laporta in the unenviable position of having to make major cutbacks during the last transfer window.

Several players were moved on, including Antoine Griezmann, Junior Firpo and Ilaix Moriba, with cheaper alternatives sought.

Barcelona’s financial crisis even culminated in the iconic Lionel Messi having to leave the club for Paris Saint-Germain because they couldn’t afford to register him.

PSG are one of several leading sides monitoring Pogba’s situation closely as his contract runs down at Old Trafford.

Real Madrid and former club Juventus are also known to be huge admirers of the French World Cup winner, who has earned 89 caps for his country.

He rejoined Man United in August 2016 for a then-record fee of £89million but hasn’t lived up to expectations in the Premier League.

An outstanding talent, with the ability to dominate matches at his best, Pogba has often flattered to deceive in a dysfunctional team.

The 28-year-old started the current season in excellent form, registering four assists against Leeds United on the opening day.

But doubts about the Red Devils’ trajectory, and the future of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have resurfaced during a poor recent run, culminating in Saturday’s 4-2 defeat away to Leicester City.

Although Raiola has been busy exploring other options for his client, Barcelona don’t believe they could meet his demands.

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