Pogba reveals why he turned down Real Madrid & Barcelona to re-join Manchester UnitedPublished January 16, 2017
Paul Pogba has suggested that his emotional attachment to Manchester United was such that he snubbed interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona to return to Old Trafford.
An £89 million summer signing from Juventus, the Frenchman had been a highly sought-after commodity in the transfer window and attracted interest from the La Liga duo before finally sealing a switch back to the club that he left in 2012.
Once a promising prospect in the United academy, Pogba initially failed to break into the Red Devils first-team under Sir Alex Ferguson, leaving on a free transfer to Juve after three years in north-west England.
Despite the snub, he excelled in Serie A, helping the Bianconeri win four successive Scudettos while also becoming one of the top midfielders in his position in the world.
And speaking to French media outlet SFR Sport, the midfielder revealed that it was the opportunity to finally make an impact at Old Trafford that led to him snubbing the advances of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“I came here because I have targets, it’s a big challenge for me,” he told French outlet SFR Sport.
“I could have also gone to Real Madrid or Barcelona, they were interested. I chose to return, because I had that in my heart. It was my feeling that brought me here.
“I want to win with Manchester United, I’ve never won with them. I had always said that I would return. I didn’t know when. Because it’s a club that I like a lot. I hadn’t finished, I left because I wanted to play. I hadn’t done what I had wanted to do here. I want United to become the great United again. That’s my challenge here.
“The fee, I don’t even think about it anymore. I came to play football. It’s not true that I’m happy today because I’m the most expensive player in the world. I have forgotten all that. I don’t care. I’m only interested in the pitch, in the ball, that’s what counts.”
Speaking of his relationship with United manager Jose Mourinho, the 23-year-old claimed that the Portuguese’s influence has helped him to become a better player.
“He leaves me quite free, especially to attack,” he added.
“He encourages us a lot. He doesn’t want us not to defend, but when we have the ball, he leaves us free. He’s ‘The Special One.’ He’s a coach who helps me a lot, I learn a lot from him, from his experience.
“I listen when he speaks, he helps me a lot with his advice. He’s someone who’ll help me advance in my career.”
After a 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Sunday, Pogba and Co are next in action against Stoke City on Saturday.