Does this sign mean that Barcelona have given up on signing Paul Pogba?

Paul Pogba.
Paul Pogba.

Barcelona appear to have admitted defeat in their pursuit of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

World Cup winner Pogba has been on an extended break from United following the end of the season, his World Cup victory in Russia and a recovery period that followed.

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Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola was rumoured to have presented a deal to Manchester United where Barcelona would offer a deal worth £100m to broker a move away. The deal was said to include a cash payment of £50m and players Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes.

Reports in Spain claim that Pogba met with Barcelona’s new sporting director Eric Abidal in Los Angeles while on his post-World Cup break. The plan was for Pogba to take over from Andres Iniesta in midfield, even taking his number eight jersey.

Jose Mourinho is not against selling Pogba, but Ed Woodward will not countenance the exit of their most marketable asset.

While manager Jose Mourinho would consider letting Pogba leave, United’s hierarchy are adamant that he’s going nowhere and immediately rebuffed Barca’s opening proposal.

However, Barcelona have now handed their new Brazilian midfielder Arthur the number eight shirt, which was revealed in footage as Arturo Vidal was unveiled as a new signing for the club. Vidal’s own signing is an indication that Barcelona have admitted defeat in their attempt to bring the 25-year-old midfielder from Old Trafford.