Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is allegedly keen on linking up with five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi at Barcelona, further adding to the growing speculation that all isn't well for the Frenchman at Old Trafford less than two years after his stunning £89m return.
Pogba's relationship with manager Jose Mourinho appears to have become strained in recent months. The player, struggling for fitness after an injury layoff earlier this season, has been in and out of the side and has been poor even when he has played.
Just last week it was reported that United are giving their full backing to Mourinho over any disagreements with players and would be prepared to sell anyone, including Pogba, who doesn't fall in line with the manager's way of thinking.
Known gossip merchants Diario Gol claim that Pogba wants to join Barcelona and has told close friends 'I want to play with Messi'. But, notwithstanding the apparent friction in Manchester, the claims seems outlandish and spurious at best.
The 24-year-old was tentatively linked with Barça before he was snapped up by United. But Real Madrid were the club from Spain who were really keen and the latest gossip appears to be the latest in the agenda-driven point scoring that is the transfer market in 2018.
Diario Gol claims that Real president Florentino Perez doesn't believe Pogba wants Barça, suggesting that the Bernabeu chief clearly remembers the player's previous desire to join Real.
It reads as though Diario Gol is putting pressure on Real to act, although the point is also made that super-agent Mino Raiola, who represents Pogba and will dictate any transfer, is not one of Perez's preferred people to do business with.