So after a summer of back and forth it appears that Paul Pogba’s long awaited return to Manchester United is all but done.
The Juventus man left Old Trafford for a nominal fee after his contract with the Premier League side expired and a move to Turin swiftly followed.
The rangy midfielder has since rose to prominence to becomes arguably the hottest young player in world football and as such any transfer was likely to be for a very large sum indeed, and so it has proven.
Over the course of four seasons at Juventus the all-round performer has won four successive Serie A titles and steadily improved year on year.
In 2014/15 Pogba played a key role in pushing Juventus to a Champions League final berth and last season he finished as the leading assist maker in the Italian top tier before performing well at this summer’s Euro 2016 finals.
Jack of all trades
In many ways Pogba is the perfect all round midfielder.
The burly midfielder has the strength and stamina to act as a fulcrum in the middle of the park and can get stuck in, when he wants to.
However it’s when pushing forward that Pogba really earns his corn. The Juventus man has become adept at pushing defence into attack, his strong runs into opposition territory scare the lives out of defences who are equally wary of an intelligent lay-off as they are of a raking 30 yard shot on goal.
Transfer windows are of course littered with big money flops and each and every side has suffered in that respect but when it comes to spending big, a move for Pogba is a relatively safe bet.
The French international is on an upward arc and is worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and co.
Jose Mourinho has been charged with the task of getting Manchester United back on track after three lean seasons following the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure and has been handed a large transfer fund warchest.
The club have no Champions League to offer prospective signings and as such may need to sweeten the pot for any potential capture.
Mourinho has already lured Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the club and one imagines the arrival of Pogba will lead to a number of departures to help balance the books and the club can expect to get big sums for Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini and Memphis Depay, players the ‘Special One’ can afford to lose.
If Manchester United are to lure Pogba back, and it’s looking increasingly likely, then it’s a move that will set the Premier League side back a small fortune.
Chief executive Ed Woodward has haggled a price that will see the club pay Juventus £92m for Pogba, that figure is in excess of the current transfer world record, that being Gareth Bale’s £86m move from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013.
On top of this fee Manchester United will pay Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, a cool £18.4m, this fee was one that Juventus were liable to fulfill but have seemingly convinced the paying club to cover the cost.
That fee doesn’t include any add-ons, meaning that Manchester United will stand to make 100% of any potential sell-on, which represents good business given the player’s age and obvious potential.
Pogba has agreed a five year contract worth £290,000 a week, that figure includes the player’s image rights, and over the course of the entire contract this works out as a massive £75.4m.
So this means that the deal could cost Manchester United a grand total of £185.8m.
Whilst clearly this is a massive outlay it’s a calculated risk the club are willing to take and perhaps a wise one to undertake given the position Manchester United currently find themselves in.