Paul Pogba set to rejoin Juventus on free transfer following Manchester United exit

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Paul Pogba
Pogba helped France win the 2018 World Cup in Russia

Paul Pogba is set to rejoin Juventus on a free transfer after his Manchester United contract expired.

It is understood the 29-year-old France midfielder will have a medical at the weekend before completing the move.

Pogba joined United from the Italian side in 2016 for a then world-record fee of £89m.

United and Pogba failed to agree on a new contract and the club confirmed at the start of June that he would leave as a free agent this summer.

It is anticipated Pogba will begin training with Juventus next week prior to their trip to the United States, where they will face Barcelona and Real Madrid on 27 and 30 July respectively.

For the second straight season, Juventus finished fourth in Serie A, 16 points behind champions AC Milan.

They had been Italian champions for the preceding nine seasons, with Pogba playing a key role in their title wins from 2012-13 to 2015-16.

He scored 34 goals from 178 games in his previous spell with Juventus having also joined on a free from United in 2012, after coming through the Old Trafford academy.

During his first season back at Old Trafford, Pogba helped United win the EFL Cup and Europa League but they would prove to be the only trophies he won in his second spell.

A disagreement with then manager Jose Mourinho saw him lose the vice-captaincy in 2018 and injuries and sporadic form reduced his impact.

Pogba, who joined the United academy from Le Havre as a 16-year-old in 2009, was influential as France won the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and scored 16 goals for United in 2018-19.

But over the last three seasons he scored eight goals from 91 appearances, with one from 27 last term.

"It was a low-key end to a United career that brought so many individual high moments," read a United statement earlier this month when they announced Pogba was to leave.

United offered him an extension and BBC Sport understands it was a more lucrative offer than his previous deal but in an Amazon Prime documentary 'The Pogumentary', he said the club was "bluffing".

Pogba scored 39 goals in 233 appearances across his two spells at the club but his final home appearance against Norwich City in April saw him jeered by his own supporters as he was substituted.

He expressed gratitude for the "unconditional support from the fans" in a message on social media following the club's announcement that he was leaving.

Analysis - Pogba has played in moments

When Paul Pogba returned to Old Trafford in 2016, it was championed as Manchester United righting the wrong of Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to let him go in 2012 after a major falling-out with the midfielder's adviser Mino Raiola.

History will conclude Ferguson was probably correct first time round.

At a rough estimate, United have spent around £200m on Pogba in transfer fees and wages during his two spells at the club. The number of top performances could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

United never found a solution to why Pogba is so effective for France and not for them. It could be many reasons - different team set-up, different manager, better players, fewer games. But by the end, hardly any United fans wanted the club to keep Pogba.

Evidently, he has skill in abundance. He is capable of delivering passes few in the world can match and at times, he is unplayable. But Pogba has played in moments. Two goals in the famous comeback win at Manchester City, four assists against Leeds United, a goal in the Europa League final. For the investment United made, it was not enough.

In a recent interview, Pogba said he had wasted his time at United. It is hard to disagree.

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