Paul Pogba can be world's best at Manchester United, says manager Jose Mourinho - Firstpost
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Paul Pogba can be world's best at Manchester United, says manager Jose Mourinho


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London: Paul Pogba can fulfil his dream of becoming the world's best player by returning to his former club Manchester United, his manager-in-waiting Jose Mourinho declared on Sunday.

Pogba, 23, is close to returning to Old Trafford for a reported world-record fee of 89 million pounds ($116.4 million, 105 million euros) after United and Juventus confirmed he was due to undergo a medical.

The France midfielder makes no secret of his desire to usurp Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's foremost player and Mourinho believes he will achieve that ambition at United.

Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho. AFP

Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho. AFP

"I think United is the perfect club to bring him to the level that he wants to be," Mourinho said after United beat Leicester City 2-1 at Wembley in the season-opening Community Shield.

"The Premier League is the perfect habitat for that. If you want to be the best player in the world, I think if you go to Barcelona or to Real Madrid, you are in trouble.

"Because I don't think the other two big guys will let you develop to that level.

"Here he has the conditions to develop in the most seen worldwide championship, which is absolutely incredible, with a team that wants to bring Man United to the top again.

"So we have everything to give him and we know the reasons why he wants to come to us. Money he will get from any big club. That's not the point.

"He comes because he knows the club, knows the city, knows many of the players. He wants to be an important part of the Man United project. So hopefully everything goes well and he comes into our team."

Mourinho had earlier told BT Sport: "It's amazing that such a good player is with us. Finally we have him."

The transfer saga took a huge step forward when Juventus announced they had granted permission for Pogba to undergo a medical at United, the club he left four years ago.

'Talk very soon'

United confirmed the news with a short statement on their club website saying the medical would enable Pogba to "finalise his transfer from Juventus to Manchester United".

Pogba, who was part of the France side that lost to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final last month, tweeted enigmatically: "When too many people talk nobody understands -- talk very soon."

Early signs that a deal was imminent came when Pogba did not travel with the Juventus squad to London for their 3-2 friendly win over West Ham United on Sunday.

Media reports said he had already arrived in Manchester.

Pogba, who has won four Serie A titles with Juventus and reached the 2015 Champions League final, has been courted assiduously by United, who received just 1.5 million pounds when he left in 2012.

They faced reported competition from European champions Real Madrid, amid speculation that Pogba would have preferred to link up with his compatriot Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu.

But Madrid, who have paid huge money for stars like Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years, did not pursue the player, leaving Pogba with a choice between moving to United or remaining with Juventus.

A reported initial 86 million pounds bid was rejected by Juventus.

Pogba's arrival will secure the four signings Mourinho had set his sights on when he replaced Louis van Gaal at the end of last season.

Pogba will join young Ivorian defender Eric Bailly, Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan and veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in arriving at Old Trafford this summer.

First Published On : Aug 8, 2016 02:52 IST

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