The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals are about to commence and the clash between Manchester United and FC Barcelona is the most-hyped one in the draws.
The Blaugrana’s are riding high on confidence after their 2-0 win over rivals Atletico Madrid in the La Liga fixture on Saturday where apparently Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer himself witnessed the brilliance of the Catalan giants at Camp Nou.
United will surely rely on the playmaking skills of their star midfielder, Paul Pogba, in the first leg of the quarters with the La Liga leaders.
Before the high-octane clash, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed an interesting fact of Pogba’s much-talked-about 2015 record transfer to the Red Devils.
Pogba returned to United for a whopping 89 million euros deal from Serie A giants, Juventus. Bartomeu told ESPN in an interview that he couldn’t afford the Frenchman in 2015 despite contacting Juventus, who they thrashed in Champions League finals in the same year to lift their fifth European title.
“In the summer of 2015, Paul Pogba was playing in Turin and we simply told Juve that, if one day they decide to sell the player, we would be interested. When they sold the player, they told us what the offer would have to be and we couldn’t afford that amount of money at the time,” Bartomeu told ESPN.
“So he went to United, and he’s making them better as a team because he’s one of the stars of the world of football right now. What I have to recognize is that United, in the last few years, have created a very good group, good players that are coming through. I am sure next season they will be candidates for the Premier League, and this year for the Champions League,” he further added.
Despite the big transfer money, Pogba failed to live up to the expectations of the fans till last season, but under United’s new manager Solskjaer, the Frenchman has rejuvenated himself and is back to his lethal best, which made him a star.
Pogba has played 134 games for the Red Devils so far, but has only managed to win only two trophies with Manchester- EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League title under former manager Jose Mourinho.
Now, it will be interesting to see that will Barcelona’s 2015 transfer target haunt them in 2018-19 Champions League quarterfinals? Barca travels to Old Trafford on April 11 for the first leg encounter.