‘Pogba too expensive for Barcelona’

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Barcelona, Aug 12 (IANS) Barcelona’s director of international football Ariedo Braida has revealed that the reigning La Liga champions pulled out of the race to sign midfielder Paul Pogba because they felt the Frenchman was too expensive.

Pogba was being strongly linked with a move to Barcelona before completing a switch to Manchester United from Juventus for a world record 105 million euros ($117.2 million) on Tuesday.

And Braida has since revealed the Spanish giants were keen to sign the 23-year-old, but dropped their interest because “no one is worth that kind of money”.

“Barcelona pulled out of the race to sign Pogba for economic reasons. There is no discussion about his qualities and I think he will assert himself at Manchester United, but there will be criticism each time he is not at his best,” Braida was quoted as saying by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.

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“People will see the transfer fee and expect him to win games on his own and this is simply not possible,” he added.

“Some figures are upsetting. No one is worth that kind of money. When you get to a certain level, we are getting too detached from normal life. We are talking about an operation of 150 million euros ($167.5 million) if we include wages.”

The French midfielder has been suspended for club’s opening English Premier League game of the season against Bournemouth on Sunday by The Football Association.

The ban relates to two yellow cards issued to him in last season’s Coppa Italia. The second card came in the final, which was his last game for Juventus.

“You never know how a player will react to being overpriced like that. Maybe it will not even influence him, but the pressure must be enormous,” Braida added.

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Pogba’s United debut is now likely to be against Southampton at Old Trafford next Friday.



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