By Spain correspondent Miguel de Souza
Barcelona are preparing a £60million move for Paul Pogba as they join Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign the Juventus midfield kingpin.
Sources have told Football Insider that Barca are willing to discuss a deal in which they buy Pogba and loan him back to Juventus until next January, when he is able to formally join the Catalan club.
Barcelona are prevented from signing players until 2016 after their appeal against a transfer ban was dismissed last December by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Nevertheless, club president Josep Marc Bartomeu is plotting an audacious move for Pogba as a key plank of his attempts to remain in power at the Nou Camp, with the club’s presidential elections taking place at the end of the season.
The former Manchester United midfielder, 22, has been a key player for Juventus this season, in which they are 14 points clear at the top of Serie A, in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
He is tipped for a big-money summer transfer even though he signed a new Juve contract last year that runs until 2019.
Barcelona will join the likes of Real, Chelsea and PSG in trying to capture Pogba and are expected to meet with the player’s agent Mino Raiola. Football Insider revealed last week that Chelsea are targeting Pogba as part of a £100m recruitment drive this summer.
Speaking about Pogba in an interview on Saturday with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Bartomeu said: “He has a contract with Juventus, a club we have the the utmost respect for. I can say that he’s a great player but we must check if Juve want to sell, also understand Raiola’s strategy.”
Barca went on a summer spending spree last year while the transfer suspension went on hold during the appeals process, splashing out more than £117.5m on Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Thomas Vermaelen, Claudio Bravo, Jeremy Mathieu and Alen Halilovic.
Bartomeu said the club have a transfer strategy in place. “The plan is to buy players and leave them at their club until January.”
Juve director Pavel Nedved has told French newspaper Le Parisien that PSG have already made an offer for Pogba, although the claim has been denied by the Ligue 1 club.
“Nedved said: “Yes, PSG sent us an offer. But Paris are not alone – Real Madrid and Barcelona are also interested.”