Former Barcelona football advisor Ariedo Braida has revealed the Catalan club had no “real intention” of signing Manchester United’s Paul Pogba in the past.
The France international returned to United from Juventus in 2016 and prior to that, the La Liga side were linked with the midfielder.
Braida spent his entire career in Italy before joining the Blaugrana in 2015. His connection with Serie A saw reports back then suggest he was pushing for Pogba’s arrival at Camp Nou.
Radio Marca interviewed the 74-year-old and asked if that was the case.
Responding to that, he said: “It’s not a lie. It is true that Albert Soler and I went to Milan and met with the Juventus board, but despite the talks, there was no real intention to sign him. In fact, Pogba ended up staying that summer in Turin and did not go to another club.”
“I said he was a great player, I was talking about him with Albert Soler, with whom I consider I had a good personal relationship, but again, professionally, we couldn’t work together because I wasn’t allowed to.”
Pogba was also linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer of 2018, just weeks after he won the World Cup with France.
During Braida’s stint at AC Milan, he was instrumental in helping the Rossoneri sign the likes of Kaká, Thiago Silva, Andriy Shevchenko and others.
When explaining why he failed to replicate the same at the Camp Nou, the Italian revealed Barca rejected an opportunity to sign Erling Haaland.
“They did not give me the responsibility and they put others in charge of this. I was studying players and I wrote down some names like Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, when he was still playing in Norway. But at the club they told me no, that he didn’t have the Barcelona profile,” Braida explained
“I also suggested other players from Italy, like [Nicolo] Barella, who is now at Inter, or [Nicolo] Zaniolo, who plays at Roma. But if you don’t have the responsibility to do this because it has been given to others, you can’t do anything. I was isolated.”