Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has stated that the Old Trafford club is perfect for Paul Pogba to become the best player in the world. On Sunday ahead of the FA Community Shield match against Leicester City, which United won 2-1 with goals from Jesse Lingard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, United announced that the French midfielder would undergo a medical at the club’s AON Training Complex, in which he arrived around lunchtime on Monday. The transfer from Juventus will be a world record at £89 million, a lot cheaper than the £100 million fee being touted in the media for the last few weeks. Mourinho suggested that the player could be announced as early as Tuesday, but with some journalists suggesting a medical could take two to three days, which would seem to be a little bit abnormal considering the likes of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all had their medical and completed their moves on the same day.
Pogba has been on an extended holiday in the United States of America, travelling to Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, and New York, before returning to France before heading to Manchester on Monday morning. The player has been avidly involved in fitness during his holiday posting pictures of himself on Instagram in a gym, playing basketball, kickboxing among other things. Match fitness might be something the player is lacking after recuperating over the summer, but Mourinho will surely see how fit he is when he trains with the first team, which could be as early as Tuesday when the players return after their day off to rest following their FA Community Shield victory over Leicester City at Wembley. Speaking after the 2-1 victory on Sunday, Mourinho said:
“I see on Instagram he does kung-fu, karate, and basketball. United is the perfect club to bring him to the level he wants to be. The Premier League is the perfect habitat if you want to be the best player in the world. If you go to Barca or Madrid you are in trouble, because I don’t think the other two big guys will let you develop to that level. Here he has the conditions to develop in the biggest worldwide championship, with a team that wants to bring Manchester United to the top again.
“We have everything to give him. Money; he will get in any big club. He comes because he knows the club, the city, many of the players and to be part of the Manchester United project. If it goes well in the medical, which I think he will – I see on Instagram he does kung-fu, karate, running, basketball, football – everything, so he must be fit – on Tuesday I will be there waiting for him, if that is the situation for us.
“This has been a good window for us; [Eric] Bailly, Pogba, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan. One defender, one midfielder, one striker, one creative. The squad is good. But we need to work a lot. We need more weeks of work. I am happy that for three weeks we have just a match for the weekend.”
The fee for Pogba has been reported as being €105 million, which is around £89 million in today’s exchange market. Weeks before Brexit was voted for in the United Kingdom, it could have been around £74 million, which seems to have made the player cost that little bit more. It was suggested that his fee would top the £100 million mark, which seems to not be the case unless you take into account the agents fees, which was something of a problem for both clubs to encounter going back over the last couple of weeks. Many will suggest that Manchester United are desperate for re-signing Pogba for this hefty fee, but in a time where Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were not much less than Pogba, and he is being sold at an age where he can still improve to become one of the world’s best players, just like the aforementioned players, I don’t see it as that much of a problem. Manchester United earned more than £500 million in the last tax year, meaning that Pogba signing will be around 18% of that income, meaning it is easily afforded by the club and his resale value will be good as he is heading into the period of his career where he will soon start to hit his peak and become much better still. Lots of rival club’s fans seem obsessed with Manchester United and Pogba, which can only mean one thing – Manchester United are a club whose hate has only grown stronger this summer, which also suggests that the fear factor will start to return too. Many can mock, but some should look at where they are currently standing before the attempt to mock.