Paul Pogba returns to Juventus from Manchester United six years after leaving the club in a world-record transfer fee of £89m in August 2016; French midfielder has finalised a four-year contract at former club
Monday 11 July 2022 13:54, UK
Paul Pogba has completed his return to Juventus on a free transfer, six years after leaving to join Manchester United for a world-record transfer fee.
The Serie A club reached an agreement to sign the Frenchman on a free transfer on a four-year contract last week.
Pogba was expected in Turin on Saturday for a medical and to formally sign the contract.
The France international had been free to negotiate with clubs over his next move since January.
Juventus released a statement after Pogba's return was confirmed. It read: "When we say goodbye after an intense adventure shared together, there is always a glimmer of hope that we will see each other again, sooner or later.
"With Paul that is exactly what has happened. In 2016 our paths parted after four incredible years.
"Years in which a talented young French player went from making his First Team debut when still a teenager to scoring his first goal less than a month after making his bow.
"Years in which we learned to hold our breath in anticipation every time we saw him take aim from outside the box, because we knew how it could, and often did, end - with a roar of joy.
"To be precise, Paul scored 14 times from outside the penalty area in his four Serie A seasons, head to head with Miralem Pjanic at the top of that specific scoring chart.
"Years in which Pogba emerged as a world-class talent, winning trophy after trophy in the black and white stripes, and coming close to Champions League glory in 2015.
"He set up 12 goals in his last season in Turin to leave with a tally of 34 goals scored and 32 assists provided, making him a direct participant in 66 goals overall.
"Then we said goodbye, and in the meantime his talent and power came to the fore when as an integral part of his national side he contributed to France's World Cup 2018 triumph.
"Although we parted ways, we never really forgot about each other, and there is something ancestral in the call that after a thousand adventures eventually leads you back home.
"Paul is back in Turin. He left as a boy and returns as a man and a champion, but there is one thing that has not changed - the desire to write unforgettable pages of club history together once more.
"Pogba is back and we couldn't be happier."
Manchester City also made a stunning bid to sign Pogba from bitter rivals United, with Pep Guardiola meeting the midfielder and the club drafting a lucrative contract to demonstrate their desire to sign him.
But while the World Cup winner did consider City's offer, he felt the accompanying noise and hate would not be worth it.
Earlier this month, Pogba was filmed complaining about Manchester United's contract offers in an upcoming documentary about the midfielder.
In a preview of 'The Pogmentary', as seen by The Athletic, Pogba is speaking to his late agent Mino Raiola about United's latest contract offer in July of last year.
At the time it was reported that United had offered Pogba two contracts worth more than £290,000 a week and Sky Sports News understands he was offered a 3.5 per cent increase on his then deal.
"Did Manchester (United) make a second offer?" Pogba asks Raiola.
"Yes," Raiola replies. "They absolutely want you to stay. For me, the offer doesn't reflect that. I told them, 'If you want him to stay, don't make that offer'. I will make them understand that if they really want you to stay and they want to build a project around you, this time they have to act differently and put the money on the table.
"They're bluffing," Pogba says. "How can you tell a player you absolutely want him and offer him nothing? Never seen that."
ESPN FC reporter Julien Laurens told Sky Sports:
"He could've stayed at Manchester United if things had turned out a bit differently. When Paul Pogba decided to leave, there were only really a few options on the table.
"Juventus was one, PSG was another one and certainly there was the possibility when Leonardo was sporting director that might have happened. Now that Leonardo has been sacked, it was only really Juventus.
"This is fine with Paul as he had so many happy years there, leaving six years ago to come back to United. It's a funny career path - going back and forth - but he feels at home in Turin. Juventus need a player like him as they need to strengthen the midfield.
"He will finally be able to play in his favourite position, which is something that didn't happen enough for him at United.
"Italian football is very different to the Premier League and at his age no, I feel this really suits the way he plays."
It is the summer of 2016. Jose Mourinho is the Manchester United manager and the club has just broken the world transfer record. A Frenchman has returned to Old Trafford for unfinished business.
"This is the right club for me to achieve everything I hope to in the game," Paul Pogba said after completing his £89m move back to United from Juventus.
"He has the chance to be at the heart of this club for the next decade and beyond," Mourinho added.
It was a deal that caused a social media frenzy. Emerging from the shadows with a red devil marked into his hair, Pogba's announcement video was followed by a sponsored music clip featuring Stormzy. The hype over #POGBACK had begun.
It was supposed to be the start of something special. A new era for a club still struggling to find its feet after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson three years earlier.
But Pogba has been unable to inspire United to former glories. The 2017 League Cup and Europa League are the only trophies of his six-season spell.
Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.