When Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United after a four-year spell at Juventus in 2016, breaking the world record transfer fee at the time in a move that would cost United roughly £89 million, the then 23-year-old was expected to set the Premier League alight and, along with it, reignite Manchester United’s fortunes on the pitch in the post Alex Ferguson era.
Just over two years on and, with the exception of a handful of exemplary performances and with the exception of Manchester United’s second-place finish last season, neither has really happened. The Frenchman, now 25, has endured a fractious and inconsistent second spell at Old Trafford.
Word has it that he will now return the Old Lady in January.
Juventus are expected to make an € 80 million offer to bring back the playmaker in the upcoming window. Odds on Pogba joining the Italian club for a second spell are shortening. and at the time of writing bookmakers across the best betting apps sites have the move priced as short as 14/1.
That fee is roughly the amount of money that Juve will receive from qualifying for the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League, so it would be a transfer that is financially viable in isolation, but even more so when you consider they will have made a considerable profit on the player for what would effectively have been a two-and-half-year loan.
Pogba is priced at 11/2 with Ladbrokes to leave Manchester United in January, but if he is to move anywhere it would surely make most sense for it to be the Italian champions.
Eight points clear at the top of Serie A, Pogba could lift a fifth league title in Turin this season if he returns, as well as having the opportunity to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo before the great Portuguese hangs up his boots.
Pogba’s relationship with Jose Mourinho has been publicly tempestuous so far this season in particular, with training ground bust-ups caught on camera and the pair exchanging digs in the media.
With United having made their worst ever start to a Premier League season and facing an uphill battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League, does the World Cup winner really want to stay put in Manchester if an offer from Juventus were to come in?
It remains to be seen whether the move will come off, but there will almost certainly be a Pogba transfer saga around the corner one way or another and looking at how the land currently lies, don’t be surprised to see Massimiliano Allegri smiling next to Pogba’s signature.