Paul Pogba looks set to complete a £100million move to Manchester United after he reportedly completed a medical in Los Angeles on Thursday evening.
The deal will make him the most expensive footballer of all time, taking him past the £86m that Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale and will also see him earn £290,000-a-week.
But the footballing world would be a completely different place had the 23-year-old completed a move to Manchester City last summer.
Article continues below
According to Marca, Juventus agreed a mammoth fee with the Citizens 12 months ago but Pogba rejected the chance to join Manuel Pellegrini's men for one reason.
Quite simply, the offer had come too late and Pogba felt his pre-season preparations would be too greatly hampered by a transfer. The deal collapsed, ultimately giving United the chance to bring the midfielder back to Old Trafford four years after he left.
Article continues below
It suggests that Pogba was more than ready to wear the sky blue shirt, only for the offer to arrive too late. This is a man who hired his a personal nutritionist and physiotherapist as an 18-year-old so it is no surprise he was unwilling to compromise his meticulous preparation.
Real Madrid pulled out
Manchester United's job of convincing Pogba could have been made significantly harder had Real Madrid matched their nine-figure transfer bid. By all reliable accounts, the France international would have preferred a move to the Bernabeu to work with Zinedine Zidane but was never offered the chance to do so.
According to this same report, Florentino Perez decided not to match Manchester United's offer simply because of Pogba's underwhelming performances at Euro 2016. Indeed, the Frenchman was disappointing compared to his high standards but anyone with the tiniest bit of hindsight could see that Pogba would have been an incredible signing for Los Blancos.
The Daily Mail have claimed that a deal has now been agreed and all that is left is for Manchester United to announce it. Martin Samuel claims it won't be long as United are desperate to "parade their new signing" to the world.
He will, as expected, be given the No.6, which was so ostentatiously left vacant when the squad numbers were announced last week. Pogba wore the same shirt number at Juventus before switching to the No.10.
However, with Wayne Rooney the longstanding occupier of that shirt, Pogba will have to revert back to the No.6, which he is believed to prefer anyway.
First coach approves
While some are questioning whether Manchester United is the best place to be for the world-class star, one man who certainly sees it as a good move is his first football coach Mohamed Chacha, who first spotted his talent at Le Harve.
"Returning to United will be a beautiful thing for Paul," Chacha told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "When he was there he didn't have the opportunity to break through to the first team. Now, with his return he can show his talents."