It threatened to drag on all summer but by all accounts Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United has finally been completed. The former United player will return to Old Trafford as part of a record-breaking £112m deal that makes him the most expensive football player in history.
As part of the deal, Juventus will receive a bonus payment should the French ace renew his United contract and another should he win the Ballon d’Or.
However because of the Italian taxes due on the deal, Juventus are expected to announce the transfer fee at £84.3m, just shy of the £86m Real Madrid paid to Tottenham for Gareth Bale in 2013.
Furthermore, United and Juventus have also agreed upon a £20m agent fee for Mino Raiola, with Juventus paying for the additional £4m owed to the Dutch football agent.
Weeks ago Pogba agreed personal terms that will pay him £290,000-a-week over the next five years.
Not everyone is happy that United are breaking the world transfer record. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for example has claimed he would not spend £100m on a single player.
“If you bring one player in for £100m and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney,” stated Klopp. “The day that this is football, I’m not in a job anymore, because the game is about playing together.
“That is how everybody in football understands it. You always want to have the best, but building the group is necessary to be successful.
“Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money.”
The Stretford End will not care what Klopp says. In a remarkable summer, United have landed one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho and signed Pogba, defender Eric Bailly, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. All without the lure of Champions League football.
While a lot of the focus will be on United getting back into the title race this season, Mourinho’s side has to be favored to win the Europa League this season, a trophy that brings a No. 1 seed in the 2017/18 Champions League draw with it.