MANCHESTER UNITED are furious with Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola for trying to engineer a move to Barcelona for the World Cup winner.
United have rejected out of hand a double player-plus-cash deal for Pogba from the Spanish club.
Their offer of £44.6million plus defender Yerry Mina and midfielder Andres Gomes was laughed off by United’s hierarchy – but they are not happy with Raiola for giving encouragement to Barca.
He had no mandate from them to tout the player around and it is the second time this year he has “offered” Pogba to a rival.
In January, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claimed he had been offered Pogba by Raiola during the January transfer window.
Having paid a then world record £89m to Juventus to bring former academy graduate Pogba back to Old Trafford, United are adamant that the France international remains a vital part of their plans despite his problems with Jose Mourinho last season.
Mourinho praised Pogba for his disciplined performances for France in Russia and wants him to play in the same way for United.
United sources are suspicious that Raiola is also trying to use Barcelona’s interest as a way of earning Pogba a pay rise on his £200,000-a-week deal he signed in 2016.
Since then he has been overtaken as United’s highest wage earner by Alexis Sanchez, who cashed in on his free transfer from Arsenal by agreeing an eye-watering deal of about £500,000 a week.
United have told Barcelona it would be pointless to increase their offer – something they can not do anyway unless they sell Ousmane Dembele, a possible target for Arsenal.
United’s focus remains on trying to sign a new centre half before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Leicester have told them Harry Maguire is not for sale at any price, while United are still haggling with Tottenham over Toby Alderweireld. They have made a £40m offer – £10m short of Spurs’ £50m valuation for the Belgium international.
They have also asked Bayern Munich about Jerome Boateng but the player is thought o prefer a move to Paris Saint-Germain. Meanwhile, an increasingly frustrated Mourinho will not sanction any sales unless he has brought players in.