Paul Pogba has returned to Manchester United for a record-breaking transfer fee, the club announced early on Tuesday morning.
The French midfielder, who played for his country at the 2016 European Championships, left the club to Juventus in 2012, for a mere £800,000 in compensation.
Pogba finally completes United return
After great speculation throughout the summer, United have finally completed what is thought to be their final signing of the transfer window. The fee for their former-player is thought to be £89million.
An imminent medical had been announced ahead of Man United’s Community Shield victory on Sunday against Premier League champions Leicester City. That announcement was received spectacularly by travelling United fans with “Pogba’s coming home” sung ahead of the game.
Other clubs baulked at the remarkable fee asked for by Juventus but United continued with the transfer. United’s situation, three years without a league title and little success, fuelled their determination to sign Pogba. Unlike Real Madrid, who were thought to be the other frontrunner to sign the 23-year-old, United must make a statement this summer through their signings. With Jose Mourinho replacing Louis van Gaal and bringing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic immediately, that has already been completed.
Manchester United have created new spine under Mourinho
Before United’s first league fixture of the season, the club have completed the signings of all four major targets. Eric Bailly arrived first from Spanish side Villarreal for £30million and impressed in his competitive debut on Sunday, a Community Shield win. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner in that game, arriving on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain. Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, one of Europe’s finest creative players, came for less than £30million from Borussia Dortmund.
After lifting the Community Shield, Mourinho said that Pogba “comes to a winning side, a side that won the last two matches, the FA Cup Final and Charity Shield.”
“We have signed on defender, one striker, one midfielder and a creative [player] this summer so it has been a good market for us,” said Mourinho. He went onto defend the fee that United will pay for Pogba, insisting that Real Madrid “were not sad when they set a new record for Gareth Bale, they were proud.”
“We want to bring Manchester United to the top again,” he continued. “If you want to be the best in the world, this is the club to join.” United “have everything to offer” Pogba and “he knows the club and the city and he wants to be a part of the Manchester United project.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic also spoke of a project at United following his decisive goal at Wembley. "Our team is something big going on,” the Swedish striker said. “We're at the beginning, but we begin with a trophy, so it's a good start."
Pogba unlikely to make debut in opening league game
Pogba will be eligible for United’s opening league fixture, but is unlikely to play having returned to Juventus training for the first time just a couple of days ago. The Frenchman has been on holiday in the United States of America following Euro 2016, where France were defeated in the final by Portugal.
While the transfer fee alone for Pogba is huge, his wages and the fee paid to his agent will be too. Mino Raiola represents the midfielder, as well as his new teammates Zlatan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Pogba is expected to earn £11million per year while Raiola will take a large sum, possibly 20% of the initial fee for his client.