Paul Pogba ahead of United v Juventus: ‘Turin is my home’

Getty Images

This will go down well with Manchester United’s fans…

Paul Pogba has been talking about facing his former club, Juventus, in the UEFA Champions League group stage clash in Turin next Wednesday.

Pogba, who joined United from Juve for a then world-record fee of $120 million, spoke to RMC and told them he is looking forward to heading back to Italy.

“I expected it, it was mad,” Pogba said. “I’d spoken about it with my brother last summer. I said to him: ‘Imagine we’re in the same group as Juve’. For me, it’s a pleasure. Turin is my home – that’s where I scored my first professional goal.”

Pogba then went on to reveal he still talks to a lot of Juventus’ players and is obviously very close with the Serie A giants.

“[Juan] Cuadrado, [Paolo] Dybala, [Leonardo] Bonucci, I hear from them, we speak from time to time. We were a family, so of course we stay in contact,” Pogba said.  When you’re alongside players like Pirlo, Gigi [Buffon] or [Giorgio] Chiellini, you can only learn. Every day, in training, you try to observe them. Even as an established player, you can always learn from those sorts of men.”

Of course, Pogba is speaking affectionately about his time at Juventus where he won many trophies and developed into the powerful central midfielder known around the globe today. But considering transfer rumors continue to swirl about him rejoining Juventus or maybe heading to Barcelona in the summer, this may not be welcomed at United.

Pogba spent several years at United’s academy but famously left as a teenager after he believed he wouldn’t break into the first team. He instead joined Juve for a nominal fee and won four Serie A titles before heading back to United for a massive transfer fee two years ago.

His form at United since 2016 has been inconsistent, to say the least, but he won the World Cup over the summer and it appears Jose Mourinho is finally getting the best out of him this season, even if United have struggled early in the campaign.

The fact Pogba has spoken so fondly about Turin is human nature, of course. It is a place close to his heart and where he grew up and he won many trophies and individual accolades. 

But given the fact he said earlier this season that he wasn’t allowed to talk to the media again after comments he made about United’s playing style ended up with Jose Mourinho stripping him of the vice-captaincy, you’d expect Pogba to be taking a low profile for a little while.

Then again, that’s not really how he rolls, is it? That sound you can hear is Mourinho grinding his teeth in disapproval.