Barcelona won't pay €80 million for Paul Pogba - Benedito
Barcelona presidential candidate Agusti Benedito says he would be interested in bringing Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba to the Camp Nou, but not at an asking price of €80 million and salary demands of €12 million net per year.
Pogba, 22, has been linked with a big-money transfer this summer, with Barca, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City all reportedly considering moves for the France international.
Even though the Catalan giants are unable to field any new players until January 2016 due to a FIFA imposed transfer ban, they have already moved to bring in versatile right-sided Spain international Aleix Vidal from Sevilla, and speculation about potential signings is rife ahead of late July's presidential election at the club.
Benedito had earlier this week admitted to have spoken personally with both Pogba and Juve president Andrea Agnelli, and while presenting his candidacy said the current price and salary demands being made would lead him to look at other options to reinforce in midfield.
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"Agnelli told us that he would talk from €80 million, and that he had an offer from PSG of €12 million a year," Benedito said. "We are not saying no to Pogba, but such conditions cannot happen. There are more players with this profile."
Benedito, a long-time critic of previous Barcelona boards, is currently a big outsider in the election, in which Blaugrana club members will vote on July 18.
Outgoing president Josep Maria Bartomeu was the most favoured candidate, despite issues such as the FIFA ban and Neymar signing court case, especially after last season's Treble success and new contracts signed by coach Luis Enrique and Dani Alves.
The entrance into the race of ex-Barca chief Joan Laporta, another controversial figure who remains popular due to his links to blaugrana legends Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola, means Bartomeu now has a serious challenger for the position.
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Benedito said that one of his aims if elected would be to break Barca's commercial deals with Qatar, which were introduced by Bartomeu ally and former club president Sandro Rosell.
"There are companies which want to sponsor Barca," he said. "That is evident. Chelsea have signed Yokohama [Rubber] for €55 million, Manchester United have Chevrolet for 80.
"And they have not won a Champions League for some years. One of Rosell's main clients was the Qatar government. They had a kind of obsession with Qatar. For me that contract can now be broken."