Football: Unhappy Paul Pogba agrees to join Barcelona, say British media

Paul Pogba has agreed terms with Barcelona for a deal worth £89.5 million (S$157 million) over five years.
Paul Pogba has agreed terms with Barcelona for a deal worth £89.5 million (S$157 million) over five years.PHOTO: REUTERS/ ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Paul Pogba is determined to end his fractious relationship with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and move to Barcelona, according to British media reports yesterday.

The 25-year-old Frenchman, who scored in the 4-2 World Cup final win over Croatia, has agreed terms with the Spanish champions for a deal worth £89.5 million (S$157 million) over five years, noted a Daily Mail report.

That would see him earn £346,000 a week, almost double what he makes now.

The Sun claims Pogba has demanded that his employers double his weekly wages from £180,000 to £380,000 so he is paid almost on a par with Chilean star Alexis Sanchez, otherwise he will leave.

United have already rejected a Barca bid of £44.5 million plus Colombian central defender Yerry Mina and Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes for the man who arrived at Old Trafford for a then world-record fee of £89 million in 2016.

Pogba's proposed departure would leave little time for executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to find a suitable replacement, with the Premier League transfer window due to close today.

The Frenchman is keen to move to Barcelona to play with Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, while his close friend and former Juventus team-mate Arturo Vidal also recently moved to the Catalan giants.

Pogba's unhappiness stems from the deterioration in his relationship with his manager. Mourinho has been critical of Pogba's muted performances since rejoining United and was less than effusive in his praise for winning the World Cup.

"Paul was like the (France) team. He started average and ended top," the Portuguese told beIN Sports last week.

Pogba, though, is believed to have been more upset by what followed in the interview. Mourinho implied that being in an enclosed environment over six weeks ensured that the player focused just on football and not on outside matters such as commercial contracts.

Former United star Rio Ferdinand told Wednesday's edition of the Daily Mail that Mourinho needed to fit the team around Pogba's sublime talent, but accepted that the player needed to adapt too.

"It's a case of the player and manager getting an understanding for each other and getting the best out of the player," said the former England central defender.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that centre-back Jerome Boateng has called Mourinho to tell him that he will not join United this summer.

United made contact with Bayern Munich on Sunday to inquire what it would cost to sign the Germany international but the deal is now dead, even before the English club had put in an official bid.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2018, with the headline 'Unhappy Pogba agrees to join Barcelona: British media'. Print Edition | Subscribe