Barcelona are laying down alternate options for Antoine Griezmann and have earmarked Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba as a Plan B.
Barcelona are eager to land Antoine Griezmann and confident that the Atletico Madrid frontman will arrive in the summer. But, according to Spanish publication Don Balon, the newly crowned La Liga champions are laying down contingency plans, with Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba emerging as a shock name on the list.
There have been multiple reports hinting at an agreement already in place for the transfer of Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona. But, given the entry of Manchester City and the current nature of the transfer market, the Catalans are laying down contingency plans in case the move does not transpire.
Two of the names on the list are from the Premier League and have been on the radar of Real Madrid as well – Mohamed Salah and Paul Pogba. The latter is rather intriguing. Paul Pogba returned to his academy roots at Manchester United in a deal that was then the most expensive transfer in world football.
But, the midfielder has failed to add the same charm, consistency and charisma to the Manchester United midfield as he did at Juventus. Despite a return of 10 assists and 6 goals in the league this season, there have been reports of a rift between the manager and the superstar, which has seen the player being linked with a move away from the club.
While Pogba has proven his quality in certain games – the brace in the 3-2 comeback win over Manchester City being one – it is the Frenchman’s inconsistent displays that has seen Jose Mourinho cut a frustrated figure on the touchline. The FA Cup loss to Chelsea was another example of just how flaccid the United squad looks with a Paul Pobga not in groove.
Juventus and Real Madrid have been touted as potential destinations for Pogba, should he intend to leave. But, Barcelona might present an interesting prospect. The Frenchman isn’t known for his tiki-taka style and playing for a passing-friendly team like Barcelona could pose a new challenge for the Manchester United superstar, albeit one he might be tempted to attempt.
Also, Ernesto Valverde has brought in a smoother transition from the pure tiki-taka style to a more hybrid style of football, where Pogba could emulate what Paulinho did in the first half of the season, only better and for longer periods of time.
At Juventus, Pogba was successful mostly because of the freedom he had in the middle of the park and at Barcelona, he could return to the same fold, albeit under a slightly different footballing philosophy.
The move entirely hinges on Barcelona’s ability to land Antoine Griezmann. If the Atletico Madrid superstar snubs the Catalans, we might see them move for Pogba, who then will have to decide between proving himself at Manchester United or taking up a new challenge in a new league.