Friday 27 April 2018

Jose Mourinho insists Paul Pogba is arriving at 'perfect club' ahead of record €105m transfer

Paul Pogba should be finally be unveiled as a Manchester United player today. Photo by VI Images via Getty Images
Paul Pogba should be finally be unveiled as a Manchester United player today. Photo by VI Images via Getty Images

Jeremy Wilson

Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba that he is arriving at the "perfect" club to become the best player on the planet ahead of his now imminent world record transfer to Manchester United.

Pogba was yesterday given permission to travel to Manchester for his medical after agreement was finally reached on a £105m (£89m) deal with Juventus that will surpasses the previous €100m (£86m) world record that was paid by Real Madrid for Gareth Bale in 2013.

United announced the news under the headline £Pogback shortly before yesterday's Community Shield victory over Leicester City.

"United is the perfect club to bring him to the level he wants to be," said Mourinho.

"The Premier League is the perfect habitat. "If you want to be best player in world, you are in trouble at Barcelona or Real Madrid, because the other two guys (Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo) won't let you do that!

"Here he has the conditions to develop, in the most worldwide, incredible championship, with a team that wants to bring Manchester United to the top again. We have everything to give him.

"We know the reason he wants to come. He will get money in any club.

"He knows the club, the city and many of the players. He wants to be an important part of the Manchester United project.

"I have seen Pogba running, playing basketball. He does everything, so he must be fit. I will be waiting for him on Tuesday."

Mourinho said that he did not know the precise transfer fee but, for a player who is still only 23, is adamant that the "crazy" price will feel very different in the near future.

"I don't think Real Madrid was upset when they broke the record with Gareth Bale or Cristiano (Ronaldo)," said Mourinho.

"I don't know when other people break records. I don't think it is a reason to be sad. It is a reason to be proud of the dimension of the club to attract players of this dimension.

"I think football becomes crazy; the market becomes crazy.

"What you think is crazy in three years is not crazy any more. What is expensive and not expensive I don't know any more.

"I'm sure he is a big player who is coming to a big club like Manchester United. I know he will be proud to belong to a big club."

Pogba was accused by Alex Ferguson of not showing United any respect after running down his contract and joining Juventus in 2012 but supporters chanted his name yesterday at Wembley and there appears to be lingering ill feeling.

His arrival is also a major boost to the Premier League. It is 20 years since Newcastle United paid what was then a world record £15m fee for Alan Shearer and, after a period in which the best talent has gone to Real Madrid and Barcelona, underlines the vast financial strength of the English clubs.

After already adding Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this summer, Mourinho said that it had been a "good market" for United.

"We have a new defender, a new midfielder, a new attacking midfielder and a new striker," he said. "I am also happy we have only one match a week for the next six weeks because we can work a lot."

Pogba has spent the past two weeks on holiday in the United States after playing in the final of Euro 2016 for France and, although United are claiming personal terms have not yet been agreed, they were settled in principle weeks ago.

Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has also taken Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan to Old Trafford this summer.

Mourinho will now turn his attention to moving some players out of the club, notably Bastian Schweinsteiger, and knows he will have to sell before he can potentially also add another central defender.

As for yesterday's match, Mourinho insisted that Juan Mata was "fine" with his decision to substitute him in the dying moments - just 29 minutes after introducing the Spain midfielder from the bench.

Mata, sold to United by Mourinho during the pair's time together at Chelsea in January 2013, appeared angry with the stoppage time decision at Wembley, when he was replaced by Mkhitarayan.

However, Mourinho attempted to play down any suggestion that Mata was unhappy at being taken off by claiming that the player's lack of height prompted his late tactical switch.

"Mata is fine - he understands what I did. I couldn't take Zlatan or Fellaini off because Leicester's 'Rory Delap' throw-ins would win it.

"The rules allow six changes, I had made five and I wanted to stop the game.

"I need to take off the smallest player because we were expecting a lot of long balls. He is the smallest one.

"But I think he played very well. He gave me exactly what I needed. We want to win and everyone is happy in the end."

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 83rd minute header winning the game for United, after Jamie Vardy had cancelled out Jesse Lingard's first-half opener, Mourinho marked his first competitive outing as manager with a trophy.

But rather than claim it as his own, the Portuguese chose to credit his predecessor, Louis van Gaal, with the success.

"I want to dedicate victory to Louis van Gaal," Mourinho said. "Without him, I would not be here celebrating because he won the FA Cup, which allows me to have one more trophy.

"I left many more trophies for managers to win after me and nobody remembers me, but this one I remember it was won by somebody who went before me.

"I also want to dedicate to the seven players who did not play, It hurts me to leave behind the likes of (Memphis) Depay, (Phil)Jones, (Ashley) Young."

With United set to launch their Premier League campaign away to Bournemouth next Sunday, Mourinho claims the trip to Dean Court will be the beginning of his 'impossible' dream as manager.

"My ambition is a stupid ambition," Mourinho said. "It is impossible, but I want to win every game.

"That will start at Bournemouth next week and then the next game and the next if we win.

"But our desire to do well and work and improve (is our biggest strength). In this moment, we are not a super team, but we are a team with a super desire."

Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, insisted that he now wants the Community Shield success to be the first of many trophies he wins at United.

"It feels good," said the summer signing from Paris Saint Germain. "The first official game, we play for a trophy and we win.

"This is my 31st trophy. I'm super happy, but hopefully I can win much more than this.

"It was a difficult game. We played against a good team. They were very strong.

"But something big is going on with our team. We begin with a trophy." (© Daily Telegraph, London.)

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