Paul Pogba became world’s most expensive footballer after making his comeback to Manchester United from Juventus for a record wee of €110 million. Pogba left Old Trafford in 2012 on a free transfer after Sir Alex Ferguson decided not to give young Frenchman a chance in the first team. Four years later Pogba grew into world-class midfielder and United decided to make things right by spending huge money on their ex-player.
Pogba was on the verge of leaving Juventus in 2015 after Champions League finals, which Italian giants lost to Barcelona, with Catalans and Paris Saint-Germain mentioned as potential buyers. However, after Barcelona withdrew from negotiations Pogba decided to remain in Turin for another season. After Jose Mourinho took over Manchester United last month, he publicly made Pogba his main target this summer. After signing centre-back Eric Bailly from Villarreal, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Dortmund and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from PSG, Mourinho announced that his squad only needs one more top-level midfielder. His wish came through few hours after leading Manchester United to victory over Leicester City in the Community Shield on Sunday. After several weeks of prolonged negotiations, France international was finally given permission to have a medical and sign with Premier League side. 23-year-old Pogba will arrive to Manchester today to sign a five-year contract with fee likely to be €105 million up front with €5 million of later add-ons. United have also agreed to pay the considerable provision to Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, who acted as a mediator between two clubs during negotiations. That provision is believed to be around 20% of the initial fee. Pogba will earn a basic salary of about €13 million per year plus incentives, and retain sponsorship and image rights.
Jose Mourinho hailed Pogba’s ability to go from box to box which will make his role in the team a final piece of new Man United puzzle. Mourinho noted that he has few so-called No. 10 players in the squad who are creative and attacking, but that he needed the midfield player who is strong enough and has defensive intensity but at the same time has a lot of creativity and can score goals. Mourinho compared Pogba to some of the Premier League’s best ever players like Lampard, Scholes and Gerrard who were that type of player who could score more goals than the attackers, but also defended like true defensive midfielders. These kind of players are very difficult to find and if Pogba gets anywhere close to emulating Paul Scholes’ results at United he’ll be worth every cent of the astronomical transfer fee paid for him. Pogba will be eligible to play in United’s Premier League opener against Bournemouth next weekend, but that will be unlikely as French international had an extended summer break after EURO 2016.