Football super-agent Mino Raiola has claimed Zlatan Ibrahimovic jokingly told him, he would “break his legs” if he was unable to secure a move to Manchester United for one of his fellow clients, Paul Pogba. Raiola also represents Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who also joined Old Trafford this summer. Pogba did eventually sign for £89 million, which ended up breaking the transfer record and now the Frenchman stands as the most expensive footballer in the world.
Pogba’s transfer was in the pipeline all summer, with rumours of him joining and then not leaving Juventus and even rumours of Real Madrid coming in and stealing the show. It seemed to be the saga of the summer, but lets be honest, you would do well to name 5 players who weren’t linked with a transfer to United this summer. However, once Zlatan joined, the Swede made it clear that he wanted Pogba at Old Trafford and nowhere else. Sky Sports have reported the story and Raiola claimed:
“Zlatan told me, ‘Do not transfer Pogba elsewhere or I will break your legs'”.
Not exactly out of character for Zlatan. This is the same man that called Pep Guardiola a “spineless coward”. The Swede is always on hand to provide a tag line for something. Like when Sweden failed to qualify for the World Cup, Zlatan remarked; “A World Cup without me is a World Cup not worth watching”. Classic.
Nevertheless, it has taken some time for the Frenchman to settle into his return to Old Trafford but he produced a tantalising display on Saturday in United’s 4-1 win over Leicester, in which he opened his Manchester United goals account too, after notching his first goal at Old Trafford. Zlatan was even on hand then to defend his new teammate, suggesting the critics will eat their words soon when Pogba finds his form. There has been much speculation around where Pogba should be played and prior to the Leicester game, Raiola had his say on that, of course,
“Pogba still has to find his place in the team. My preferred position for him is left attacking midfielder.
“With his power, stamina and technique… Pogba would be unplayable in that role. But Mourinho takes the decisions.”
On the left side of attacking midfield, as Raiola has touched on, was the position that brought Pogba into the limelight at Juventus. He excelled in that role with a midfield trio of Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal behind him, which takes away any defensive burden on his part. However, at just 23, Pogba’s education in football is far from over and there’s no reason he cannot learn a new role in a midfield two and become a box-to-box midfielder in the mould of someone like Patrick Vieira.
There’s no doubt United fans will continue to expect the best of Pogba to come but if what we saw on Saturday was a taster then the Old Trafford faithful are surely in for a treat. With a £89 million price tag on your head, it can’t be easy to settle, but it seems like the Frenchman is starting to find his feet in Manchester.