Paul Pogba can fulfil his dream of becoming the
world’s best player by returning to his former club
Manchester United, his manager-in-waiting Jose
Mourinho declared on Sunday.
Pogba, 23, is close to returning to Old Trafford for
a reported world-record fee of 89 million pounds ($
116.4 million, 105 million euros) after United and
Juventus confirmed he was due to undergo a
The France midfielder makes no secret of his
desire to usurp Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
as the world’s foremost player and Mourinho
believes he will achieve that ambition at United.
“I think United is the perfect club to bring him to
the level that he wants to be,” Mourinho said after
United beat Leicester City 2-1 at Wembley in the
season-opening Community Shield.
“The Premier League is the perfect habitat for that.
If you want to be the best player in the world, I
think if you go to Barcelona or to Real Madrid, you
are in trouble.
“Because I don’t think the other two big guys will
let you develop to that level.
“Here he has the conditions to develop in the most
seen worldwide championship, which is absolutely
incredible, with a team that wants to bring Man
United to the top again.
“So we have everything to give him and we know
the reasons why he wants to come to us. Money
he will get from any big club. That’s not the point.
“He comes because he knows the club, knows the
city, knows many of the players. He wants to be an
important part of the Man United project. So
hopefully everything goes well and he comes into
Mourinho had earlier told BT Sport: “It’s amazing
that such a good player is with us. Finally we have
The transfer saga took a huge step forward when
Juventus announced they had granted permission
for Pogba to undergo a medical at United, the club
he left four years ago.
– ‘Talk very soon’ –
United confirmed the news with a short statement
on their club website saying the medical would
enable Pogba to “finalise his transfer from
Juventus to Manchester United”.
Pogba, who was part of the France side that lost to
Portugal in the Euro 2016 final last month, tweeted
enigmatically: “When too many people talk nobody
understands — talk very soon.”
Early signs that a deal was imminent came when
Pogba did not travel with the Juventus squad to
London for their 3-2 friendly win over West Ham
United on Sunday.
Media reports said he had already arrived in
Pogba, who has won four Serie A titles with
Juventus and reached the 2015 Champions League
final, has been courted assiduously by United, who
received just 1.5 million pounds when he left in
They faced reported competition from European
champions Real Madrid, amid speculation that
Pogba would have preferred to link up with his
compatriot Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu.
But Madrid, who have paid huge money for stars
like Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent
years, did not pursue the player, leaving Pogba
with a choice between moving to United or
remaining with Juventus.
A reported initial 86 million pounds bid was
rejected by Juventus.
Pogba’s arrival will secure the four signings
Mourinho had set his sights on when he replaced
Louis van Gaal at the end of last season.
Pogba will join young Ivorian defender Eric Bailly,
Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan and
veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in
arriving at Old Trafford this summer.