Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his team are the perfect one for Paul Pogba to build his case as the best footballer in the world as the Frenchman closes in on a record transfer from Juventus back to Old Trafford.
The deal is not yet completely done, but United announced Pogba will undergo a medical and official confirmation is imminent on the 23-year-old’s return to Manchester.
Pogba left Old Trafford as a talented teenager but is set to return as one of the world’s best midfielders and Mourinho said a move to United makes sense for the France international as he looks to take the next step in his career.
“United is the perfect club to bring him to the level he wants to be. The Premier League is the perfect habitat for that,” Mourinho said.
“If you want to be the best player in the world, if you go to Barcelona or Real Madrid you are in trouble because I don’t think the other two big guys [Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo] will let you do it.
“Here he has the conditions to develop in the most seen championship worldwide, which is incredible, with a team that wants to bring Man United to the top again.
“We have everything to give him, and we know the reasons he wants to come to us. Money you will get at any big club, that’s not the point. He comes because he knows the club, the city and many of the players.
“He wants to be part of the Man United project. Hopefully everything goes well in the medical, which I think it will.
“I see him running, playing basketball and football [on holiday in America]. He does everything so he must be fit. On Tuesday I will be there waiting for him if that’s the situation.”
The size of the fee, reportedly more than £100million, has raised eyebrows around the world given United lost Pogba for compensation worth less than £1m, but Mourinho said smashing the transfer record to sign talented players should be a source of pride and not embarrassment for United.
“I don’t think Real Madrid were upset when they broke the record for Gareth Bale or Cristiano,” he added.
“When other people break records it’s not a reason to be sad, it’s a reason to be proud of the dimension of the club that can do that.
“I don’t know what is and isn’t expensive in football anymore. I just know that it’s a big player that for sure is going to be important for a big club like Man United.”