Paul Pogba: Manchester United’s £100m ‘mistake’ who wept in front of Alex Ferguson

Things will be different under Jose...

Manchester United Old Trafford
Theatre of Dreams Manchester United's home ground Old Trafford. Image Picture Richard Heathcote/Getty

Paul Pogba’s anticipated £100 million transfer to Manchester United comes four years after the Premier League club let him go for free.

The France international ditched the Red Devils for Juventus in 2012 when first team opportunities weren’t forthcoming – and the player’s departure exposed a fractured relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, a man still on the Old Trafford board.

“It’s disappointing. I don’t think he showed us any respect at all, to be honest,” Ferguson said of Pogba’s exit at the time.

“I’m quite happy that if they [footballers] carry on that way, they’re probably better doing it away from us.”

Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is a driving force behind the Frenchman’s Old Trafford return, but he’s no friend of Fergie. In his 2015 book Leading, the ex-United boss lashed out at Raiola.

The kicker? The Dutch agent also represents United other marquee summer signing Zlatan Ibrahmivoc.

“There are one or two football agents I simply do not like, and Mino Raiola, Paul Pogba’s agent is one of them,” wrote Ferguson.

“I distrusted him from the moment I met him. He became Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent while he was playing for Ajax, and eventually he would end up representing Pogba, who was only 18-years-old at the time.

“It’s disappointing. I don’t think he showed us any respect at all, to be honest.”

“We had Paul under a three-year contract, and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. But Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco.

“He and I were like oil and water. From then on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to integrate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.”

Things got so tense between Ferguson and Pogba that the then-19-year-old wept in front of the manager as their relationship soured.

Pogba’s mother Yeo Moriba told AFP: “We had got together with his brothers and we decided: he won’t re-sign.

“Ferguson punished him, he didn’t play him, Paul was alone. He even cried in Ferguson’s office over the way he was treated.”

Things will surely be a lot different second time around.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn