Barcelona’s sporting director Ariedo Braida has revealed why the club didn’t go after Paul Pogba, in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.
Pogba completed his world-record €105 million move to Manchester United on Monday, and while many top clubs were interested in securing the 23-year-old’s services, Braida revealed that Barcelona weren’t one of them.
Speaking about the deal, he said: “The economics of the deal explains why. Pogba will show his worth with Manchester United as you can’t question his ability. However if he doesn’t impress in every match, there will be questions. When people see certain numbers they think he must win matches on his own, and that isn’t possible.
“Nobody is worth that amount. Every player is overvalued. When you hit certain numbers the gap with reality becomes very noticeable. You are talking about a deal worth €150m in total. The pressure on him will be enormous.”
Pogba’s move to Old Trafford will see Juventus begin their title defence without a fully fit defensive midfielder. His presence in the Bianconeri midfield will no doubt be missed, but Braida believes Juve – who have won the Serie A title for four consecutive seasons now – can cope with the Frenchman’s departure.
When asked about who will win the Serie A title this season, he said: “I think it’s clear who the favourites are. Juventus are very strong, but football is strange and winning six years in a row isn’t easy. The loss of Pogba is big, but the club have made some great signings. They need another midfielder given Claudio Marchisio is injured.”
Braida also believes Juventus can challenge them for the Champions League title yet again. Barcelona beat them in the final of the tournament in 2014, but Juventus could offer a tougher test this time round, having splashed the cash on players such as Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanić, Marko Pjaca, Dani Alves and Mehdi Benatia.
On their push for European glory, Braida said: “They can be a top side, but I hope that Barcelona win it in the end.”