Paul Pogba’s move to Manchester United has left Juventus with the giggles, according to former midfield talisman Andrea Pirlo.
The Frenchman left United on a free transfer in 2012 after the player and his agent fell out with then manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex claims Pogba was asking for too much money, and that his agent, Mino Raiola, was one of the few people he didn’t like at all. He blames Raiola for turning the player’s head away from Old Trafford.
Despite the falling out, Sir Alex had always touted Pogba to be a great player, and noted his incredible talent while the youngster played for the reserves. But a deal just couldn’t be agreed between United and Pogba, and the midfielder eventually left the Red Devils on a free transfer, something that Pirlo claims Juventus are still laughing about.
As quoted by the Daily Mail, Pirlo said:
“On the first day training session Pogba had with Juventus the players were laughing.
“We were not laughing for any other reason than we were just in total disbelief that this player with so much obvious ability was able to leave a club the size of Manchester United for free — and I think Juventus are still laughing.
“I will always remember the first day he trained at Juventus. He was only young, but we could see he was special.
“We were walking back to the dressing room after the session and I clearly remember Gianluigi Buffon coming up to me laughing and he just said: ‘Did they really let him go for free?’
“I am not saying that Juventus will have wanted to let him go, they wouldn’t — but things have worked out pretty well for them.
“They signed a player of his quality for no money, he was a big part of them winning trophies in four seasons, and they then sell him for £90m. Whatever way you look at it, Juventus have got a great deal.”
Despite the embarrassing situation, Pirlo believes United still did a good job in bringing their prodigal son home.
“You would be buying a player who is the best in his position in the world, a player that can be the best in his position for the next 10 years,” said the Italian, who currently plays in the MLS for New York City FC.
“He is the best young player I have ever seen, and I don’t think we are far away from calling him the best player in the world. It has been between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for many years now, but football should get ready for a new king.
“I think Pogba will make Manchester United a real force again. One player of that quality can change things. They will lift the players, the fans. You give any team Pogba and Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] in one window and they are going to capable of special things.
“Of course I would like him to stay with a Juventus, but there is always a fee where a club cannot say no. It was my prediction that a world record fee would be needed to buy him, and that looks like it will be the case.
“He will not even think about the fee, he is only concentrating on being the best player he can be. He is not just a great player but also a great professional, and that is the dream for any coach.”