Pogba described United as ‘my first family’ in ESPN interview
• Player refuses to commit future to his current club, Juventus
Paul Pogba has hinted that he is open to moving to Manchester United this summer, describing his former club as “my first family” and refusing to commit his future to current club, Juventus.
United have been chasing the France midfielder all summer with José Mourinho’s identifying the 23-year-old as a key acquisition before his first season in charge at Old Trafford. Real Madrid are also interested in Pogba but have reportedly been put off by the €100m (£84m) valuation put on him by Juventus, who remain hopeful of keeping him in Turin and intend to offer the player, who was fundamental to them retaining the Serie A title last season, an improved contract now that he has returned from representing his country at Euro 2016.
It is believed that United are willing to match Juventus’s asking price should they ultimately decide to sell Pogba, and while the player would prefer to join Real he is known to be open to moving back to Manchester. He played for United at youth level prior to joining to Juventus in 2012.
Interviewed in Spanish by ESPN in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Pogba was presented with three shirts – a Juventus one, a Real Madrid one and a Manchester United one. Asked what Juventus mean to him, he said: “That’s my team, my family, it’s where I am playing.”
Asked what Real mean to him, Pogba said: “They won the Champions League this year. They are a great club.” When the same question was put to the player regarding United, he replied: “It was my first family.”
Pogba was then asked how he would react if Mourinho called and asked him to play for United. His response should encourage the Portuguese: “I don’t know. Let’s see, let’s see. For the moment, I am here [Juventus] and I am happy here, but I don’t know where I want to go.”
United have already made three eye-catching purchases this summer; Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Mourinho made clear during his first media conference as United manager that he wants to make a fourth signing before the start of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign and it is widely believed he was referring to Pogba.