It is quickly becoming difficult to take any report that suggests that there is an end in sight when it comes to Paul Pogba’s protracted transfer from Juventus to Manchester United seriously, given that fans have seen daily reports over the last week suggesting that a deal is ‘close’, ‘imminent’ or in its ‘final stages’. Well, today, we have yet another report to add to an ever-growing pile, albeit one that feels a bit more plausible.
Today, Sport Witness advise that Il Tempo are reporting that a deal to return United’s former academy product back to Old Trafford could be completed ‘in a matter of hours’, with the impending medical, previously speculated to have been carried out during Pogba’s stops in Los Angeles and New York now finally scheduled to be completed in Manchester at the club’s Carrington base this Thursday.
It certainly seems possible. For one thing, United like to announce player transfers with an accompanying photo of their new player holding the club’s famous red shirt and follow it up with an exclusive interview with their in-house channel, MUTV. Holding off on an official announcement until Thursday, once all of the paperwork and medical have been completed would allow the club to prepare a presentation suitable for a player who will likely become the most expensive in football’s history, with the deal potentially eclipsing the £85.3m that Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale’s services in 2013.
Il Tempo, a news outlet based in Rome, may not have the inside track on the Pogba deal but as reports go, today’s news certainly falls into the category of believable. Pogba wasn’t due to return to Juventus until 7th August regardless, having enjoyed 3 weeks of holiday after taking part in France’s 1-0 defeat to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final on Sunday July 10th. Coupled with the fact that Paulo Dybala has been given the number 10 jersey by the Bianconeri, famously worn by Alessandro Del Piero and Roberto Baggio, it suggests that not only do the reigning Italian champions not expect him to return for the start of the Serie A season, they are actually planning for life without him.
Either way, this news certainly suggests we are entering the home stretch for this most intriguing deal. With United due to kickstart their season on Sunday against reigning Premier League champions Leicester City at Wembley for the Community Shield, the smart money is on the Pogba to Manchester United deal being very close to completion. Finally.