Manchester United signs Paul Pogba
Pays a reported $116M to Juventus
France midfielder signs five-year deal
At last – Paul Pogba is a Manchester United player once again.
After weeks of “will he or won’t he?” United has confirmed a deal for the 23-year-old France star, who left the club for just $1.9 million in 2012.
But after winning four consecutive league titles with Juventus and helping the Italian club reach the Champions League final in 2015, the midfielder has returned to Old Trafford in a deal worth €105 million ($116 million) – and some media have called it a world record.
If so, it would exceed the €100 million Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale in 2013 – though with exchange rates at the time, it was worth $132 million.
Juventus also confirmed that United may pay a further €5 million in future clauses.
“I am delighted to rejoin United,” Pogba told United’s website Monday.
“It has always been a club with a special place in my heart and I am really looking forward to working with José Mourinho.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Juventus and have some fantastic memories of a great club with players that I count as friends. But I feel the time is right to go back to Old Trafford.
“I always enjoyed playing in front of the fans and can’t wait to make my contribution to the team. This is the right club for me to achieve everything I hope to in the game.”
United coach José Mourinho has now signed two of football’s biggest names since replacing Louis van Gaal, having earlier brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Old Trafford after the Swedish striker left Paris St. Germain.
Pogba scored 28 goals in 124 appearances for Juventus during his spell in Italy, while he has also won 38 caps for France and was part of the team which reached the final of Euro 2016.
“Paul is one of the best players in the world and will be a key part of the United team I want to build here for the future,” Mourinho said.
“He is quick, strong, scores goals and reads the game better than many players much older than he is.
“At 23, he has the chance to make that position his own here over many years.
“He is young and will continue to improve; he has the chance to be at the heart of this club for the next decade and beyond.”
The English Premier League club had revealed Sunday that Pogba had been granted permission to travel to England to complete the move.
Pogba left in 2012 after growing frustrated with his failure to break into the first team under then manager Alex Ferguson.
He made just seven senior appearances after joining from French club Le Havre as a teenager, and refused to sign a new contract.
Pogba will hope to guide United back into the Champions League after finishing fifth last season under van Gaal.