Barcelona are said to be targeting a double free transfer swoop for Bayern Munich’s David Alaba and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
The Catalan club have endured a turbulent year behind the scenes, and were forced into a swap deal with Juventus for 30-year-old Miralem Pjanic – with 24-year-old Arthur Melo going in the opposite direction – as a short term fix for their financial issues.
Barcelona were also unable to bid for long-term target Lautaro Martínez because they did not have the funds, and according to Mundo Deportivo, they are instead focussing on players who are coming into the final year of their contracts.
The Spanish news outlet states that two such players are Alaba and Pogba. Alaba has had a series of unsuccessful contract negotiations with Bayern, with the club yet to meet his new contract demands.
The negotiations have since turned sour, with Bayern’s former president Uli Hoenessbranding Alaba’s agent a ‘money-greedy piranha’.
Alaba has since been linked with a move to Juventus following the expiration of his contract in June 2021, but he could reportedly join up with the Serie A champions as soon as January.
However, Mundo Deportivo state that the versatile defender would prefer not to renew his Bayern contract in case the opportunity to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid arises – and he has been on Barcelona’s radar on ‘several occasions’.
Pogba’s United contract does expire on 30 June 2021, but the Red Devils have the option to extend this for a further year, and the chances of United allowing their £89.3m signing to leave the club for free (again) seems unlikely.
The report states that Pogba ‘loves’ the Catalan club. However any speculation regarding his United future has often surrounded Barcelona’s rivals Real. The France midfielder insisted his focus was fully on United in a recent interview, but did admit that it would be ‘a dream’ to one day play in Madrid.