Much was made about Chelsea's apparent chase for Paul Pogba late in the transfer window — especially in the English media. It all eventually ended with Juventus telling us to stop wasting everyone's time as they wouldn't accept bids below €150 million. But, as it had been rumored all along as well, it looks like the rejection didn't just come from the Italian club. Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Paul Pogba has also rejected Chelsea.
According to the report, Paul Pogba was offered a €12 million -- or £8.4 million in current exchange rates -- per year contract in net wages in a transfer move that would involve a €85 million transfer fee plus a player -- most likely Chelsea's attacking midfielder Oscar -- for the 22-year-old midfielder. Pogba ultimately turned down the transfer as he looked forward at the opportunity of becoming Juventus' main player after the Vidal, Pirlo and Tevez departures. He's even switched to the iconic #10 shirt. This report matches earlier reports in the English press.
But all that doesn't seem to be the only reason for Pogba turning down Chelsea's offer. In an interview to French television network TF1, the midfielder has given hints of an impeding move from Juventus to another club.
"Today I am at Juventus -- but I do now know for how long. Why did I stay? Why not? It was not a certainty that I would leave.
"We will do this year, and then we will see how things go. I am at Juventus, I am only thinking about Juventus."
-Paul Pogba; source: TF1 via ESPN
And in another excerpt of his TF1 interview, Pogba might have indicated that his destination is Barcelona in January's transfer window.
"Has a Barça deal been struck in January? I don't know, for now I'm at Juventus and I'm focused only on them because we haven't started well. As for the rest, we'll see".
-Paul Pogba; source: TF1 via Daily Mail
There have been rumors of a previously agreed handshake deal between Juventus and Barcelona, for similar wages and fees as we were offering. If the final decision rests in Pogba's hands, there's not much we can do if the midfielder prefers the Spanish giants instead of Chelsea. If he's able to resist even a Jose Mourinho phone call, as it's been rumored, I suppose we're going to have give up on that dream.
Also, if getting Paul Pogba would mean losing Oscar, maybe the deal really isn't worth it. Even if Pogba would solve our midfield woes, losing a player of Oscar's importance could prove to be a zero-sum game. Hopefully Oscar will stay healthy for the remainder of the season, with his performances assuring that we were right to stick by him.
P.S.: Feel free to ignore any stories you see about Pogba, Mikel, and Turkey. They come from an "agent" uninvolved with either player or club.