Barcelona: Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Tuesday that if he regains the post in the election to be held on July 18, Juventus' French international Paul Pogba will play for the Spanish football giants.
Paul Pogba. Pic/AFP
Laporta, who presided over the club from 2003 to 2010 and who is a slight favourite to win the July 18th vote, said that Pogba, who is a target for major clubs all over Europe this summer, was "the player who is a reference and the key is Mino Raiola (Pogba's agent), with whom I have a very good relationship", Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
"The signing is under control, as long as Juventus will allow him to join Barcelona," said Laporta.
Signing Pogba would be a huge boost to Laporta's already dynamic campaign, although there are some doubts about the price, which is likely to be in the region of 90 million euros ($100 million).
"He is in demand and a lot of clubs want to buy him. He has great quality, he fits into the style of play of a lot of sides, among them, Barca. I am certain there are a lot of players who could sign for Barca, but Pogba is the reference point," said Laporta, who was nevertheless unsure as to whether he could announce the signing before the election.
It should be remembered that in 2003 one of the keys to Laporta's victory was the fact he announced a deal to sign David Beckham. Beckham ended up at Real Madrid, but that announcement opened the door for the arrival of Ronaldinho, whose signing transformed the club and helped kickstart the current golden age.
"We will see what happens," said Laporta. "I can do it when I am president. Looking at what is paid for other players, 80-90 million euros is pretty good," he said, before adding that there were many other players he liked, but that he would not sign any players from Real.