Mother knows best: Mum's the word as France midfielder Paul Pogba returns to Manchester United
British media have estimated the value of the transfer from Italian side Juventus at £89 million (HK$900m), with the 23-year-old signing a five-year contract
Paul Pogba said he had fulfilled the “destiny” foreseen by his mother as he completed a return to Manchester United from Juventus for a world record fee.
United confirmed Pogba had signed a five-year contract but did not specify the transfer fee. However, in an interview with MUTV, United’s in-house television station, Pogba was asked “how does it feel to be the world’s most expensive footballer?”.
British media have estimated the value of Pogba’s transfer at £89 million (HK$900m).
That would see the 23-year-old eclipse the £85 million Real Madrid paid Tottenham Hotspur for Gareth Bale in 2013.
The astronomical figures are even more remarkable given Pogba left Old Trafford for less than £1m (HK$10m) compensation fee after his contract expired in 2012.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 9, 2016
With the long-running transfer saga only formally concluded in the early hours of Tuesday morning, there was no formal press conference to announce Pogba’s return.
Instead, United released a statement on their website and then published an interview Pogba had given to MUTV.
Asked about his return, Pogba said his mother had been proved right.
“I think it’s destiny, I would say it’s destiny. First my mum told me I would come back here and I told her, ‘You never know, we’ll see’,” he said.
“For myself as well it’s a big challenge too, just to come back to where I came from, where I grew up, where I started. I just didn’t finish what I started here so I think I came here to finish it,” added Pogba, who made just seven first team appearances during his previous spell with the English side.
“My mum, she says, ‘Your mum is always right’ so she was right this time,” insisted Pogba, who won four consecutive Italian Serie A titles with Juventus and featured in France’s run to the Euro 2016 final.
The midfielder was adamant he would not be distracted by talk of the price tag.
“The thing with me is I only think about the pitch,” he said. “I want to do great, I want to be one of the best.
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“I want to win titles, I want to achieve things and that’s all – that’s why I came here, just to do this, to become one of the best and to win titles because I know this club has to win titles.”
United have not won the Premier League since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who had a strained relationship with Pogba’s agent, retired in 2013.
But Pogba said he was ready to help the club return to winning ways under new manager Jose Mourinho.
“This club is created to win titles, to win things, to win big things. I am focused about this and that’s it. I’m just ready to go and work on that and just kill it,” he said.
An emotional Pogba said coming back to United’s Carrington training ground was like returning home.
“There’s no words, to be honest, there’s no words. I just came back to Carrington. It was like I’d just came back home. I just went for a holiday,” he added.
“I’m happy and I see everyone, the same persons. It’s just a great feeling, to be honest.”
His transfer completed a highly intense summer for Pogba.
“There was there a bit of sadness of course because we (France) lost the final (to Portugal) at home, but I will say I’m happy,” he said.
“I’m back home and it’s something crazy...I cannot explain. I’m very, very happy. The feeling I have in my body is like I can’t wait to start.”