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Pogba: The imminent return of a prodigal son

Pogba: The imminent return of a prodigal son

At some point during the last campaign, it was certain that Paul Pogba would not renew his deal at Manchester United. The contract renewal negotiations started two seasons ago between the player and his late agent, Mino Raiola, whose death even no prophet saw coming.

Raiola was very imposing on clubs the players he represented played for. He represented the likes of Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, to mention a few, and he formerly represented Romelu Lukaku. His players got good bargains from deals; whether new signing or renewal, and he also pocketed millions of foreign currencies.

When Pogba and United talks fell through at the final point in January this year, people pointed fingers at the Italian agent. The Frenchman and Raiola must have thought they would go to another big club with a better prospect of winning trophies and getting more money, with the 29-year-old having spent six years at United and only two trophies to show.

Pogba grew from United’s youth rank while Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge. The 2018 World Cup winner, however, left Old Trafford in 2012. In an interview, he claimed that he did not leave because of the contract offered to him at the time, but the lack of trust from the Scottish manager. He maintained that he wanted to play football and was not sure about getting it at the time.

Confident of his talent, he left the Premier League club on a free transfer to Juventus at 19, with a basic salary of £20,000 per week. Raiola was said to have made £1.7million from the deal. 

Pogba found the love he was looking for at United in Juventus. He was young, hungry, and ready to explore. The teenager at the time played good football with flamboyant hairstyles without criticism from the Italian press, unlike in England. He showed United what they missed and the club watched in pain how he won titles with the Old Lady.

He won four straight Scudetto and two Italian Super Cups with the club. The midfielder was named Juventus’ player of the year in 2015.

Pogba returned to United in 2016 after he was convinced by Jose Mourinho. The player, who had left for free four years earlier, cost the club €105 million; a club-record fee. He helped United win the Europa League in 2017 in his first season and the League Cup in the same year. He subsequently had a bust-up with Mourinho before the Portuguese were sacked in 2018, and there were also reports that he also fell out with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before the Norwegian was also given the boot last December.

It is still uncertain why the former United academy player refused to renew his €350,000 per-week wage at the club, with a mouth-watering deal already on the card from Adidas, United’s official kit sponsors.

Pogba was one of the three highest-paid players at the club, but perhaps he thought Raiola’s influence would get him a better deal somewhere before the agent’s untimely passing at the end of April 2022.

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There have been reports that Pogba’s return to United was fueled by huge salary, bonuses, allowances, and the Adidas deal, as such was not available at Juventus. Pogba, who turns 30 next year March, is now Italy-bound again on Bosman transfer.

On Wednesday, United announced that the Frenchman’s deal at the club will come to an end by the end of this month.

Juventus was more than home to Pogba. The fans adore the 2021 UEFA Nations League winner, the club and Massimiliano Allegri love him and it was easy for them to open their warm embrace to him again.

The former Italian champions have offered him a three-year deal worth €7.9million yearly, compared to the $28million he earned at Old Trafford every 12 months. Whatever it is, things just did not work out between United and Pogba, and he is simply returning home after a lavish adventure.

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