Eric Abidal has told Paul Pogba to remember that Barcelona are “the best club in the world” as he contemplates his next move.
Reports in Spain have suggested Real Madrid are going to make a big play to try and sign the Juventus and France midfielder this summer, with the player also linked to both Manchester clubs in the Premier League.
Barca, though, have also been long-term admirers and Abidal – a four-time Liga winner during six years at Camp Nou between 2007 and 2013 – thinks Pogba, 23, should bear Barca’s stature in mind.
“It is no surprise that the great teams want to sign Pogba,” he said to Cadena COPE.
“People talk about his talent, but he is still young. He is doing very well at Juventus but he did not show his best level during his first Euro 2016 game.
“He can be an interesting player for Real Madrid, but he is already a key piece for Juventus.
“I don’t know what his dream is and he has to make his own decision, but Barca is the best club in the world.”
Abidal also stressed his hope that Neymar would not be tempted to join Paris Saint-Germain amid speculation they are willing to activate his €190 million release clause, with a Barca contract renewal yet to be signed.
The 36-year-old added that Javier Mascherano – who has been linked with Juventus – would be fondly remembered if he opted to leave the club.
Abidal continued: “Neymar decided to join Barcelona because he wanted to join the best team in the world and win trophies.
“I hope this MSN trident [Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar] stay together for many years. Barcelona plays the most beautiful style.
“Mascherano deserves respect for all he gave to the club. If he goes, he should leave through the front door to a great farewell. He is still an important player and has to take a decision.”
Abidal, a former France international, then had his say on Dimitri Payet’s rapid rise to superstardom, which reached new levels after his stunning winning goal against Romania in Euro 2016’s opening match.
“He is in a great moment,” said the ex-Monaco defender. “I think he will be the best player of the tournament.”
A laughing Abidal added: “Now I hope Barcelona sign him!”
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