2) Paul Pogba
Manchester United were not a club that made many mistakes under Sir Alex Ferguson but allowing Paul Pogba to go for free turned out to be a very costly error – one that cost them £89.6m to rectify.
To be fair to the veteran Scottish manager, it was Pogba’s agent that Mino Raiola that made his blood boil. In his own book, Ferguson said he and Raiola were like “oil and water” and his first meeting with Pogba’s agent saw him lose his temper when Pogba’s contract renewal was up for discussion.
Ultimately, Ferguson had the last say and did not agree to pay high wages for a teenager. Pogba was advised not to sign the contract and he was punished by Ferguson. The French midfielder’s mother even spoke about how Pogba cried in Ferguson’s office over the way he was being treated.
Juventus stepped in and signed Pogba on what was effectively a free transfer. But since he was a youngster and had spent a considerable amount of time at the United Academy, they had to pay a compensation fee set by a tribunal which amounted to less than £1m.
Four years later, Pogba returned to Old Trafford after winning the Serie A title four times and making an appearance in the Serie A Team of the Year three years in a row. What endeared him to Juve fans was also the fact that he wore the no.10 shirt previously worn by club legends such as Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero.Published 04 May 2017, 18:16 IST