As if things weren’t bad enough for Man United fans this week, it seems a player they let slip away is keen on a return to England – to play for their biggest rivals Man City.
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, who made just seven senior appearances for the Red Devils in 2011/12 despite being very highly regarded even at that young age, has this week been waxing lyrical about Pep Guardiola, the man who is to replace Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad this summer.
Speaking to Sky Sports Germany ahead of Juventus’ Champions League tie against Bayern Munich next week, Pogba, 22, was full of praise for Guardiola’s coaching methods, and revealed his desire to work under the current Bayern boss in the future:
“Guardiola is a coach with a lot of experience, he has a philosophy which is very important and he has a big impact on the team,
“People respect him. When you see him you want to play and progress. He is an icon of football and I’ve heard he manages to improve every player he has at his disposal.
Whilst he didn’t outright put on record a wish to leave Juentus and move to Man City, there was definitely an implication that he would love to develop under the future Etihad boss that was hard to miss despite the layers of diplomacy:
“I am a Juventus player now, but for sure when there is a coach like him he will coach you and you will become better.”
The Mirror were last week reporting that Barcelona had pulled out of an £85milion “agreement” with Pogba and Juve over a deal due to happen this summer, opening the door for the likes of Man City to throw their hat in the ring to secure his services.
Although Man City would have no problem funding the transfer, as well as his undoubtedly huge wage packet, Pep’s new club would almost certainly face strong competition from Pogba’s French compatriot Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid, who will be keen to invest heavily in their own squad with the threat of a year-long transfer ban looming large.
Juventus, for their part, continue to insist that the player is not for sale. That said, expect their resolve to be tested in a big way when the offers come in this summer.