Barcelona expect to sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba – but not until next year.
That’s according to reports in Spain, which suggest the Catalans will also tie up deals for two other midfielders, Adrien Rabiot and Frenkie de Jong, in 2019.
Pogba, a World Cup winner with France, has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp this summer amid talk of a growing rift between him and Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho.
But with Old Trafford chiefs reluctant to sell and the European transfer window set to close on Friday August 31, it appears increasingly unlikely that a deal will take place.
According to Spanish newspaper Sport , Barcelona will instead return for the 25-year-old – whose head has been turned by their interest – next year.
They suggest the La Liga giants are confident of getting their man having already put a deal together – similar to how they did months before they signed Phillipe Coutinho from Liverpool.
Coutinho joined Barcelona in January in a £142million move after pushing for a move in summer.
The report in Sport says: "With Pogba, the club was made aware that the player wished to leave Manchester United and sign for Barça.
"Inside the dressing room at the Camp Nou, they’re excited about the possibility of bringing Pogba in. Yet United told Barça they wouldn’t sell their star midfielder at this time.
"Pogba did everything he could to force a transfer and is open to a January move, or even one next summer. It all depends on the price tag.
"This is similar to what happened with Coutinho last season, with the groundwork in place for a future deal."
The report adds that Barcelona would like also like to sign Rabiot from Paris Saint-Germain and De Jong from Ajax as they look to rebuild their midfield, but "two of the three will join later".
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