Manchester United have put contract talks with Paul Pogba on ice following increasing speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona, according to reports.
Although United remain confident of convincing the Frenchman that his future remains at Old Trafford, the club are unwilling to continue talks while he remains unsettled with the Catalan giants' public pursuit.
A stream of reports citing troubles with manager Jose Mourinho and his patchy form has led to widespread speculation surrounding his future at the club, and Pogba's recent decision to address the situation with cryptic answers has only added to the uncertainty over his future.
Despite only being in the second year of his five-year deal following his switch from Juventus, ESPN have claimed that United have pulled themselves out of talks with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola.
The Red Devils had hoped to hold preliminary negotiations over an improved deal in September but had not anticipated his sour return to the club following his successful World Cup exploits.
Paul Pogba should learn a thing or two from David de Gea instead of giving interviews every week to the media. David de Gea almost signed for Real Madrid, after his move failed he hasn't opened his mouth once about the move and has been Manchester United's best player.— 360Sources (@360Sources) September 6, 2018
United wanted to get a head start on negotiations due to the complicated nature of deals involving Raiola - who is notorious for securing his clients top tier personal terms - but the pre planned schedule will now be delayed.
Moreover, the report claims that Pogba will not seek a move in January but could be tempted to push for one next summer should the Blaugrana retain their interest.
And despite numerous Barcelona players being on the charm offensive to lure Pogba their way, United remain calm over the situation due to a one-year extension in his contract which could keep the Frenchman at the club until 2022.
Sources close to Pogba have also made it known that the uncertainty surrounding his future plans have not been purposefully planned to elicit a pay rise from United.
With Barcelona known to unsettle players in the past to secure a deal - most recently Philippe Coutinho - this story could very well play out for the remainder of the season.