Paul Pogba is heading back to Old Trafford.
What was once merely paper talk and rumors galore has turned out to be the real deal. Pogba, who arrived in Turin four years ago and has developed into one of the best midfielders in the game today, is no longer a Juventus player. Manchester United agreed to pay Juventus €105 million plus €5 million in bonuses, the club announced late Monday.
Here are the financial details, courtesy of Juventus' official website:
Turin, 9 August 2016 - Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that an agreement has been finalized with Manchester United Football Club Limited for the definitive transfer of the registration rights of the player Paul Labile Pogba for a consideration of € 105 million to be paid in two financial years. The consideration may increase of € 5 million on achieving given conditions in the course of the duration of the contract.
The economic effect is positive for about € 72.6 million, net of solidarity subsidy and auxiliary expenses.
The nine-figure transfer fee is the most expensive in the game's history, surpassing the €100.7 million Real Madrid paid to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham in 2013. Reports suggest Pogba's five-year contract with United will be worth a whopping €13 million net per season. That figure is three times more than what he made this past season at Juventus, where he was one of the Serie A champions' highest earners.
Pogba is United's fourth signing since Jose Mourinho was appointed manager, following defender Eric Bailly, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
In the summer of 2012, Pogba arrived at Juventus on a free transfer after leaving Manchester United. He was seeking a club that believed in him, one that would give him a chance to show the potential many thought he had. And under Antonio Conte, Pogba soon showed what all the fuss was about. His ridiculous goals became internet phenomenons. His pure talent oozing out for the rest of Italy — and Europe, for that matter — to see.
But for as productive as Pogba has been on the field the last few seasons — he finished joint-top in Serie A with 12 assists last season — the last couple of summers were nothing but Pogba exit rumors. Will he stay? Will he go? As much as there was talk about Pogba on the field, there was talk about him going somewhere else. Rumors, rumors everywhere. Through it all, Juventus director general Beppe Marotta always maintained two main points — he would not sell Pogba unless the player showed a desire to leave and the eventual transfer fee would be an absolute massive one.
And now, with Juventus having assembled its strongest squad since Pogba arrived in the summer of 2012, Pogba has decided now is the right time to end his tenure in Turin.
With Pogba gone to the Red Devils, the Old Lady now has Miralem Pjanić, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Hernanes, Mario Lemina, Kwadwo Asamoah, Stefanon Sturaro and Roberto Pereyra in the center of the midfield. Juventus could subtract another midfielder or two from that group, and they could go out and sign somebody to replace Pogba.
In a matter of weeks, Juventus has both brought in Gonzalo Higuain for a club-record fee of €90 million and seen Pogba leave for a world-record transfer fee. It doesn't really matter how you look at it. That's a lot of money, folks.
Thanks @juventusfc and all Juventini. Goodbye means nothing, it is the time we spent together that matters ❤— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) August 8, 2016