Barcelona are not expected to pursue Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, even if the Frenchman is to be available as a free agent at the end of the season.
Pogba has entered the final year of his contract at Old Trafford and is eligible to formally negotiate potential deals with overseas clubs as soon as 1 January.
Pogba has long been in no rush to secure his future. In July the player was keen to weigh up his options before committing to the next stage of his career, whether that means signing a new deal with United or challenging himself elsewhere.
The Premier League club have been conflicted over Pogba’s future, with some figures from within questioning whether he is worth retaining on a fresh contract expected to reach £400,000 per week. Equally, however, losing him on a free transfer is not an ideal situation.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG and Juventus have all been linked with the 28-year-old at various points in recent years. But while Real, PSG and Juve, making his name at the latter between 2012 and 2016, may remain interested, Barça are not expected to be in the hunt owing to their precarious finances.
The club’s salary cap has been cut to the bone as a result of falling revenues and a report commissioned by the current board of directors found that the club was in a position of ‘technical bankruptcy’ in March that they have to recover from.
Although Pogba could be available as a free agent, such a transfer still takes an enormous financial commitment in terms of wages, signing bonuses and agent commissions.
SPORT reports that Barça view Pogba as ‘inviable’ and ‘can’t get close’ to the salary he would want. That is despite the club being keen on landing a new influential midfielder. It is also suggested that the Catalans view agent Mino Raiola’s tactics as a way of securing the best offer to stay at United.