The Frenchman has been linked with a move to both Barcelona and Real Madrid in recent months
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed the Catalan giants tried to sign Paul Pogba in 2016 but ‘couldn’t afford’ the Juventus midfielder.
The Frenchman instead returned to Manchester United for a then world record £89million to mark the beginning of Jose Mourinho’s stint in charge at Old Trafford.
Pogba was strongly linked with a move to the Blaugrana last summer, with Bartomeu refusing to rule out a move for the playmaker before the season started.
The 26-year-old has now been mooted as a potential target for Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, who has been promised an expensive overhaul of the current crop of Los Blancos stars.
Pogba recently flirted with speculation linking him with a move to the Spanish capital, claiming playing for the European champions is ‘a dream for anyone’.
Bartomeu, ahead of his club’s Champions League clash against Manchester United on Wednesday evening, has admitted the LaLiga table-toppers were well in the mix for Pogba’s signature before he returned to the Premier League.
He told ESPN: “In the summer of 2015, Paul Pogba was playing in Turin and we simply told Juve that, if one day they decide to sell the player, we would be interested.
“When they sold the player, they told us what the offer would have to be and we couldn’t afford that amount of money at the time.
“So he went to United, and he’s making them better as a team because he’s one of the stars of the world of football right now.”
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When asked about whether Pogba could still move to Spain to either Real or Barca, Bartomeu refused to comment, saying: “I prefer not to talk about players from other teams because I am sure there are also players at Barca that can make other teams better.
“What I have to recognise is that United, in the last few years, have created a very good group, good players that are coming through.
“I am sure next season they will be candidates for the Premier League, and this year for the Champions League.”