Paul Pogba is now almost certain to move back to Manchester United — even though he would have “preferred” going to Real Madrid, according to Sky Sports.
Real Madrid was interested in signing the French superstar, but United’s financial superiority seems to have given it the edge over its Spanish rival.
United is reportedly looking to buy Pogba from Juventus for a Premier League record of £100 million ($129 million).
Pogba’s move would actually be a homecoming for the player — he served a season under manager Alex Ferguson five years ago. Commenting on Pogba’s eventual departure at the time, Ferguson said it was “disappointing” and that Pogba did not show the club “any respect at all, to be honest.”
New United manager Jose Mourinho is clearly more optimistic and is willing to spend a lot of money getting Pogba on his side — including a reported basic salary of £250,000 per week for five years. Mourinho has already spent big on new players since joining United, and last week confirmed the signing of Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Pogba helped take France to the final of Euro 2016 on Sunday, a game the host nation lost 1-0 after an extra time winner from opponents Portugal.
For his part, Pogba looked shellshocked by the time the final whistle blew, but his attention will now turn to the Premier League. United has to make amends for last year, in which it only finished fifth in the Premier League — which means it will not see Champions League action next season.
The Premiership begins again next month, with Pogba’s potential debut likely to take place against Bournemouth on August 14, Manchester United’s first game of the season.
Sky adds that Real Madrid will now go for Andre Gomes — another Portuguese player — instead of Pogba, in a deal with Valencia said to be worth £42 million.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.