Paul Pogba will be a Barcelona target - Joan Laporta

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba scored 11 goals for Juventus last season

Barcelona presidential hopeful Joan Laporta says the European champions will try to sign Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba if he is elected.

Reports suggested Barca had made a bid for the France international, 22, who helped Juve win the Serie A title and reach the Champions League final.

"There is a player we like very much - Paul Pogba," he told BBC Sport.

"We know the agent of the player - that is key in this operation. We will have to negotiate with the agent and Juve."

On Wednesday, media in Spain and Italy stated Barca had made an 80m euros (£56.8m) bid for the former Manchester United player, who has been linked with Chelsea and Manchester City.

A transfer ban - imposed after the club were found guilty of breaching Fifa's rules on the transfer of players aged under 18 - will only be lifted in January 2016. However, Barcelona have suggested they will sign players in the summer and "bring them in" next year.

Laporta was president of Barcelona between 2003 and 2010. He bought Brazil midfielder Ronaldinho and striker Samuel Eto'o, while former academy players Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique also began their professional careers in this period.

Barcelona twice won the Champions League and La Liga on four occasions during his tenure.

Meanwhile, the 53-year-old stressed he would continue to support the Barcelona philosophy of promoting players from La Masia - the Barcelona academy - rather than follow the example of sides such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris St-Germain, who predominantly buy established players.

"They have a different model to ours," he added. "They prefer to go to the market to prepare the first team. I don't share this model, because it is much better to promote players from the academy. In economical terms it's better and the supporters can identify with the players."

He also said that the club's prized asset, Messi, would not be for sale, even if a club offered £150m.

The 28-year-old Argentina forward, who scored 58 times for the club last season, signed a new contract in 2014, although the length of the new deal was not revealed.

"The answer is the same as the past - Messi is not for sale," he said.

"I will do my best to keep him at the club until the end of the career. He's the best player in the world. Thanks to Messi we can make the dreams real. We will do our best to make him comfortable and feel happy. He projects a great image of Barcelona."

Laporta is one of six candidates vying for the presidency of the Catalan giants, with the election set to take place on 18 July.

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