Paul Pogba is a player who left Manchester United four years ago after his contract had expired and he did not accept a new one at the club. Mino Raiola, his agent, took him to Juventus and a compensation fee of £800,000 was payable to the Old Trafford club. Fast forward four years, Pogba is one of the best midfielders in Europe at the moment with United likely to pay €125 million to bring him back to the Theatre of Dreams, according to reports from Sport Mediaset in Italy currently and over the last few days. Pogba is likely to receive an annual wage of €20 million, which will include €5 million in image rights. It is a massive fee for a player that left the club with a relatively small compensation payment. Barcelona has just purchased Andre Gomes from Valencia for an initial payment of €35 million, a deal with could extend to €70 million. That makes the fee for Pogba look like a much better deal when you consider the differences between the two players.
If Pogba does fortify the Manchester United midfield and wins the Premier League in his first season, his fee will be celebrated. It is not as if United do not have the money to buy a player for a world record fee, they did earn more than £500 million over the last tax year – Pogba’s deal would represent around 20% of the club’s revenue, which is around the same percentage spend on Rio Ferdinand back in 2002 when he was signed from Leeds United for £29.1 million. Shirt sales alone would bring in a lot of money, but that would not head straight into the purse of Manchester United as the contract with adidas does not mention ‘profit share’. United do get £75 million each season from adidas, providing they reach the UEFA Champions League (they can miss two season’s in competition before any money would be deducted from their annual sponsorship payment).
Should Pogba sign, which is looking very likely, especially with Juventus activating the release clause of Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli and the club looking for a replacement for Pogba, reportedly Zenit St Petersburg’s Axel Witsel. Some suggest that the Pogba deal could be tied up on Monday with the player currently in Miami and agent Mino Raiola heading there over the last few days, which suggests that a deal is not too far away from being declared. Of course, at this moment in time, Real Madrid are still waiting in the wings to swoop. Some say the deal to take Pogba back to United is too far to go back on, but do Real Madrid have any ethics at all? They play a game to sign players all of the time, use the media in Spain [Marca] and in other countries to declare an interest in a player, whom they always seem to get, one way or another. Could this happen to Manchester United this summer?
Dimitri Payet, a French teammate of Pogba and a current West Ham United player thinks that his compatriot is an exceptional player, but may not be worth the fee that may be paid for him. So he doesn’t disrespect his international teammate, Payet stated that the 23-year-old would be a massive success wherever he went, whether it is Manchester United or Real Madrid. Speaking to RTL which was reported by Sky Sports, Payet said:
“All I know is that Pogba is an exceptional player. Exceptional players attract this kind of club so everything is possible. The problem today is that good players are expensive. Unfortunately, that’s the way the market is. We, the players, can do nothing about it. I can’t tell you if Pogba is worth that price today but all I know is that he’s an exceptional player. So regardless of the club that would buy Pogba and regardless of the price, it will certainly be an exceptional recruit for this team. And I’m sure that Paul can help this club to grow and to win trophies.”
Gary Pallister, a former Manchester United defender, also spoke about Pogba, stating that it would be a ‘bitter pill to swallow’ with United having to spend a massive amount of money to bring back a player who was not given the chance he wanted at the club, leaving for a small compensation payment. Pallister, speaking at the Manchester McDonald’s #HelloGoodTimes event and reported by The Sun, said:
“You want to see the best players coming to Old Trafford and Paul Pogba is one of those. It is a bitter pill to swallow because we had him for nothing. He played a couple of games in the first team and was a star in the Under-21s. But Sir Alex did not think he was fully ready. It’s all down to timing. The player wanted to go out and play. But the lad’s a talent and he would bring a tremendous amount to United’s midfield. It’s crazy money but that’s the going rate. The club are very wealthy and if they spend £105m now you could get ten years of service out of him. He could prove to be worth every single penny. Everyone is excited at Old Trafford. Jose has been very positive and he said he’s looking to win the title. We will be up there fighting. It wouldn’t surprise me if we challenge for the title next year. He will bring the entertaining football back to Old Trafford which we haven’t seen for three years.”
Right now, United look to lead the race for Pogba with reports suggesting that a €125 million fee has been accepted and that the Frenchman will earn €20 million a year at the Theatre of Dreams. With Real Madrid seemingly battered and bruised after pulling out of the race to sign the player, and losing out on Andre Gomes might make them react to show that they are the richest club in the world again, oh yes that is the Dallas Cowboys isn’t it! Time will tell what happens here, but many have been saying Pogba to United, and they are still saying that.