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Soler: Barcelona passed on Paul Pogba last year

Albert Soler claims Barcelona had a priority agreement with Juventus regarding Paul Pogba before balking at the fee paid by Manchester United.

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Barcelona sporting director Albert Soler has claimed the club had an agreement in place to sign Paul Pogba after the 2014-15 season.

Pogba became the world's most expensive footballer when he rejoined Manchester United from Juventus for a fee of £89million.

Speaking at a news conference to mark the end of the transfer window, Soler said Barcelona were in position to sign the France international a year ago but did not feel compelled to complete the deal, before balking at the price this time around.

"Last year we reached an agreement with Juventus: if they wanted to sell Pogba we would have a priority," he said. 

"That was the commitment that we had. Juve did not want to sell the player and we didn't have the need to sign him.

"Barcelona has always had a great relationship with Juventus. If we would have wanted to do the deal, nobody could advance us. 

"We signed six players with €120million. If one club can pay €120m for one player [it] will be very difficult to sign great players."

Among the players acquired during a productive transfer window for the LaLiga champions was Paco Alcacer, ending a lengthy search for forward cover.

The presence of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez appeared prohibitive for a number of reported Barca targets but technical secretary Robert Fernandez is delighted to have Alcacer on board and believes the 23-year-old Spain international is relishing the challenge.

"I think that we have done a very good job with this transaction," he said. "We've got a very good player who we think is going to help us a lot

"He has the best in front of him, that's for certain. He has to learn from the best – Luis Suarez – and I've told him that.

"I've told all the players who have arrived what is required and how it will be difficult to play. It's a beautiful challenge.

"They are in good shape, they are very young, they are excited and I'm convinced they are going to help us."

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