Paul Pogba: Manchester United confirm midfielder will leave on free transfer

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba’s final goal for Manchester United was in the 1-1 draw at Burnley in February.

Paul Pogba will leave Manchester United on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this month, the club have confirmed.

Pogba, 29, cost United a then-world record £89m when he re-joined the club from Juventus in 2016.

He made 27 appearances in an injury-hit final season in his second spell.

“It was a low-key end to a United career that brought so many individual high moments,” the Old Trafford club said in a statement.

“So many beautiful goals, assists and pieces of skill.

“For a boy that joined the academy at 16 to make over 200 United appearances and lift the Youth Cup, along with two major pieces of silverware, is something that should be applauded and celebrated.”

Pogba first joined United from French club Le Havre in 2009 as a 16-year-old and was part of the academy side that won the Youth Cup in 2011.

He made just seven senior appearances before his contract expired in July 2012 and he left to join Juventus.

Pogba won eight major honours in Turin, including four successive Serie A titles, before making a record-breaking return to Old Trafford.

He won the EFL Cup and Europa League during his first season at the club but they would prove the only trophies he would lift in his second spell.

A disagreement with then-manager Jose Mourinho saw him lose the vice-captaincy in 2018 and injuries and sporadic form reduced his impact.

Pogba scored 39 goals in 233 appearances across his two spells at the club but his final home appearance against Norwich City in April saw him jeered by his own supporters as he was substituted.

‘The epitome of United’s muddled thinking’

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

For all the platitudes in their statement, the brutal truth is Manchester United twice paid money for Paul Pogba – as a kid to get him from Le Harve and then when it cost a then-world record £89m to buy him from Juventus – and he has twice left for nothing.

And at no time has Pogba delivered the type of consistently high-level performances United needed from him.

There have been flashes of inspiration, notably his two-goal contribution to a famous 3-2 comeback win at Manchester City in 2018 and his four assists against Leeds on the opening day of the season just completed.

But they were too fleeting and compared to the impact of players like Kevin de Bruyne at Manchester City and even Fabinho at Liverpool, Pogba’s influence was sporadic.

It seemed as though United spent all that money on Pogba second time around without a plan for how to get the best out of him. It meant that his bouncy off-field persona began to grate.

He fell out badly with Jose Mourinho, who stripped him of the vice-captaincy for agitating for a move away from Old Trafford – and didn’t repay the faith Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued to show in him.

Wherever Pogba goes – and Juventus have not been put off signing him again – it is possible he will be a major influence.

But at Old Trafford, he is destined to appear the epitome of the muddled thinking and profligacy that has left them so far adrift of Manchester City and Liverpool.

How to follow Manchester United on the BBC bannerManchester United banner footer


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.