EXCLUSIVE | By Spain correspondent Miguel de Souza
Barcelona are the favourites to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus next summer, Football Insider sources understand.
The Spanish giants are willing to meet the Italian club’s €100million (£73.5million) asking price for the midfield kingpin as well as his wage demands.
Spanish sources have told Football Insider that Barcelona have climbed above Manchester City and Chelsea in the race to capture one of the world’s most coveted players.
Chelsea had a £58.4million bid rejected for Pogba in the final week of the transfer window while City also made enquiries for the former Manchester United man before accepting that a deal would not be possible for at least another year.
Barcelonaattempted to entice Pogba from Juve in the recently completed transfer window but their ban on registering new players meant they would only have been able to buy the Frenchman and then loan him back to Juventus until January.
That was not a palatable prospect for Pogba, who is settled in Turin and keen to remain at the club until next summer.
Nevertheless, Barca chiefs are confident that the club are at the head of the queue to sign the 22-year-old when he decides to leave Juve.
Pogba joined the reigning Serie A champion in 2012 after growing frustrated at his lack of opportunities at United and has blossomed into one of the finest young midfielders in the world.
He was a key figure in the club’s remarkable 2014-15 campaign in which they won Serie A and the Coppa Italia, and were runners-up to Barca in the Champions League final.
Pogba will play his first competitive match in Manchester on Tuesday since leaving Old Trafford when Juve visit City in a mouthwatering Champions League group stage clash.