Barcelona’s Ernesto Valverde refuses to rule out Paul Pogba move

Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde refuses to rule out Paul Pogba move
(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 04, 2018 Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on May 4, 2018.Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has warned the club not to sell France World Cup star Paul Pogba and instead to focus on strengthening the squad. Speculation about the midfielder's future is rife, with reports of interest from Barcelona, but Ferdinand has told executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward he must keep hold of the 25-year-old./ AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK /
Agence France-Presse

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has refused to be drawn on a potential January move for Paul Pogba.

The La Liga club are reported to be continually monitoring the French midfielder’s situation at Manchester United after an apparent falling out with manager Jose Mourinho.

The pair were caught on camera during a frosty training ground exchange, the day after Mourinho confirmed that Pogba would no longer be United’s vice-captain.

That has fuelled speculation that Pogba could leave before the end of the season, with Barcelona seemingly the most likely destination should the 25-year-old depart.

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Earlier this summer, Sky reported that United had rejected an offer of £45m plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes for Pogba from Barcelona.

Valverde, whose side face Tottenham in the Champions League at Wembley on Wednesday, said: “We don’t know what will happen in the future.

“We respect who are at other clubs so we don’t talk about them.”

Barcelona are without a win in their last three league matches, with their last victory coming in the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven, and midfielder Ivan Rakitic knows they must try and stop Tottenham striker Harry Kane if they want to get back to winning ways.

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“I have a lot of respect for him. It was really hard to play against him at the Cup,” Rakitic said.

“We know that he is a really big striker. The goals he scores are really unbelievable. We hope that tomorrow will not be so easy for him and that he does not score a hat-trick.”

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is in contention to start against the Spanish champions after training with the squad on Tuesday.

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Speaking about Lloris’ return, Rakitic said: “I am happy that he is back but also I don’t like him so much because he is French and they beat us [Croatia] in the [ Cup] final.

“I wish him all the best and I understand that it is really important for them that their goalkeeper and their captain is back. But, I hope that tomorrow will not be his best day.”

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