Summing up the Paul Pogba to Juventus rumours
There are two things that are certain in life - taxes and transfer rumours. The engraver has barely finished inscribing France's name on the World Cup trophy, the thumping headaches from the morning after the night before are yet to clear, and sheer euphoria of France winning a second World Cup has yet to sink in fully. Yet, the majority of Les Bleus' World Cup-winning squad are already being touted around Europe by tabloid back pages.
The most intriguing of these rumours is a potential move back to Juventus for Paul Pogba. Manchester United's record signing has been here before and this story brings with it a strong sense of deja vu.
Back in 2012, Pogba said goodbye to Old Trafford and packed his bags for Turin, leaving Manchester United penniless and Sir Alex Ferguson fuming. At 19 years old, Pogba felt he could command more first-team football at Juventus and ceased his development at Old Trafford for a generous signing-on fee and a bumper pay rise. Ferguson told MUTV at the time:
"I don't think he showed us any respect at all so, to be honest, I'm quite happy that if they carry on that way, they're probably better doing it away from us."
The move proved hugely successful for the French international. Pogba went on to make 124 appearances, scoring 28 goals and winning four consecutive Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia titles, and two Supercopa Italia titles. He won numerous individual awards including the 2013 Golden Boy award and featured in the 2015 UEFA Team of the Year.
His performances caught the eye of Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, who was trying to rebuild the club after a tumultuous period following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement. In the summer of 2016, Manchester United smashed their transfer record to "bring Pogba home" for €105 million. He arrived back at Old Trafford with all seemingly forgotten and forgiven, even receiving his very own Twitter emoji to mark his return.
A distinctly average couple of years at Old Trafford, including an increasingly turbulent relationship with Jose Mourinho, led to ripples of rumours regarding the French superstar's future prior to the World Cup. However, nothing had come from the player himself until just after the final whistle had blown in Moscow.
While celebrating with his teammates in the dressing room after the match, Pogba live streamed the celebrations on Instagram. For a short period, French teammate and Juventus player, Blaise Matuidi joined his live stream. During the period both players were on screen, Matuidi is heard telling Pogba to come back to Juventus. Rather than reject the notion, Pogba replies by saying "Ooooh, the Old Lady, the Old Lady"
While reading too much into such actions while Pogba was in the heat of the moment celebrating with his friends and teammates is frivolous, the video has only added weight to rumours that Juventus want to build a "super team" for the season ahead. Having already captured Cristiano Ronaldo's signature, bringing Pogba back to Turin would represent a huge coup for the Italian champions.
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