Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has revealed that he made an attempt to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United whilst he was in charge at the Etihad, prior to the midfielder moving to Juventus.
Since leaving Old Trafford Pogba has become one of the most exciting talents in world football, and the Red Devils have been linked on and off with a bid to take him back to the Premier League. Currently acting as the key cog in Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus side, the France international has made United chiefs regret the lack of action that enabled him to depart, but, as Mancini has told Gazzetta dello Sport, it could have been far worse.
"We were about to get him and we’d had a meeting with Raiola, but I don’t know why it didn’t go through.
“He reminded me of (Patrick) Vieira. But the Premier League also lost other top players like (Gerard) Pique," Mancini said, as relayed by the Manchester Evening News.
The 21-year-old’s agent, Mino Raiola, is now confident that if Pogba does leave Turin this summer he will shatter the world transfer record set when Cristiano Ronaldo moved from United to Real Madrid back in 2009. Though that may be a bold claim indeed there’s no underselling the youngster’s value, and his ability, as has been proven this season, continues to attract superlatives.
Sir Alex's mistake?
As a result, not giving him the opportunities he was seeking and then allowing to leave for nothing are touted as two of Sir Alex Ferguson’s gravest mistakes during his time in charge of United. With the former Premier League champions now struggling after his retirement from management fans have bemoaned the way Pogba’s situation was handled, and one does wonder if his presence at Old Trafford would have helped lift them out of the post-Fergie mire.
With that all in the past though the onus now turns towards Pogba’s immediate future. As Raiola has already confirmed there are several illustrious clubs chasing his signature, though the player himself doesn’t look like he wants to leave Juventus just yet.
The current stance seems to be that the Serie A holders will resist selling him at all costs unless he actively looks to leave, something that he appears unlikely to do, meaning that he could well remain in Italy for another season.
What course his career will then take could depend upon which sides have the money to meet the astronomical demands his club will hold out for. One thing is for certain, United don’t look like being in a suitable position anytime soon due to their current status and City might well have money to spend.
Talk about going full circle.
United fans, was it a huge mistake to let Pogba leave Old Trafford? Or was Sir Alex right to let him walk? Let us know in the comments box below...