Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: £89 million Pogba will be best in the world

By Mark Ogden

Jose Mourinho claims Paul Pogba can become the ‘best player in the world’ at Manchester United after the club agreed a world record £89.1m fee with Juventus for the midfielder — four years after allowing him to move to Turin for just £850,000.

The massive deal was confirmed as United lifted their first trophy of the Mourinho reign, claiming the Community Shield with a 2-1 win over title winners Leicester.

Previous marquee signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed the winner after Jamie Vardy had cancelled out FA Cup winning goalscoer Jesse Lindgard’s supern opener.

Now United are about to add French midfielder Pogba who made seven substitute appearances for United as a teenager after being signed from French outfit Le Havre in 2009, missed Juventus’s pre-season friendly against West Ham United at the London Stadium yesterday with officials at the Italian club revealing that the player was flying to Manchester to finalise his return to Old Trafford.

United confirmed that the 23-year-old will undergo is medical at the Aon Training Complex, with the process expected to be finalised this evening.

 And Mourinho, who attempted to sign Pogba for Chelsea last summer, insists that United have signed a world-class player from the Italian champions to complete his summer dealings.

“It’s amazing that such a good player is with us,” Mourinho said. “Finally we have him.”

Mourinho added: “He comes to a winning side — a team who have their last two matches, in the FA Cup and today, so he has to work hard to come to the team.

“But United is the perfect club to bring him to the level he wants to be. The Premier League is the perfect habitat for that.

“If you want to be best player in world, you are in trouble at Barcelona or Real Madrid, because the other two guys (Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo) won’t let you do that!

“But with us, in the most-seen worldwide championship, which is incredible, he is with a team who wants to bring United to the top again.

“We have everything to give him. He will get money in any club, that is not why he comes.

“He knows the city, the club and players and he wants to be part of the United project.”

The Belfast Telegraph revealed on June 8 that United had moved into pole position to sign the player following Manchester City’s decision not pursue a move for the powerful midfielder.

United’s readiness to pay a world record fee for Pogba also left Real Madrid unable to compete with the Old Trafford side, who will eclipse the £85m paid by Real for Gareth Bale in the summer of 2013.

But with Pogba all set for his medical on Monday, Mourinho is now expected to complete his fourth signing of the summer within the next 48 hours once the formalities are completed with Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Pogba could prove good value for money, even if he does not have the reputation of being a prolific scorer.

He says: “First of all I thought if he’s not getting 40 goals a season, like a (Luis) Suarez, Bale, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Lionel) Messi, etc, then he can’t be worth that.

“But if he becomes as influential as a (Paul) Scholes, a (Frank) Lampard, a (Steven) Gerrard, a (Patrick) Vieira or a (Roy) Keane, then you say it’s money well spent.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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