We tried to warn you. Manchester United are done f*cking around.
Last night the Red Devils officially announced the transfer we’ve been waiting for all summer and, in doing so, put the rest of England (and Europe) on notice.
Paul Pogba is finally coming home. After graduating from the Manchester United academy but failing to nail down a place in the senior squad under Sir Alex Ferguson, the 23-year-old fled for greener pastures with Italian giants Juventus. There he won four Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia titles, earned a trip to the Champions League Final, and evolved into one of the best #8s in the world.
Now he’s come back to Manchester as the final piece in José Mourinho’s war machine. And by his own words, he couldn’t be happier.
”I am delighted to rejoin United. It has always been a club with a special place in my heart and I am really looking forward to working with José Mourinho. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Juventus and have some fantastic memories of a great club with players that I count as friends. But I feel the time is right to go back to Old Trafford. I always enjoyed playing in front of the fans and can’t wait to make my contribution to the team. This is the right club for me to achieve everything I hope to in the game.”
United plonked down €110m to re-sign their former academy kid. That’s €10m more than Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale three years ago. And yes, that’s a world record.
The deal keeps Pogba at Old Trafford on a five-year contract with an option for a sixth. Mourinho characterized him as the foundation on which his masterwork will be built.
”Paul is one of the best players in the world and will be a key part of the United team I want to build here for the future. He is quick, strong, scores goals and reads the game better than many players much older than he is. At 23, he has the chance to make that position his own here over many years. He is young and will continue to improve; he has the chance to be at the heart of this club for the next decade and beyond.”
United have struggled mightily since Fergie peaced-out at the end of 2012-13. Fans sat through three seasons of talk about philosophies and managed expectations, enduring rumors of dressing room dissent and managerial delinquency. United have made it clear this summer that they’re done with all that. You don’t hire José Mourinho, give him last year’s talented-on-paper young squad, and then give him money to bring in the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan unless you’re gearing up to fight a war.
Manchester United are done focusing on the long game to the exclusion of everything else— they are here now and they’re ready to take back the throne.