Manchester United have announced the world record signing of Paul Pogba from Juventus, bringing the 23-year-old midfielder back to Old Trafford four years after he was allowed to leave for a pittance.
The star, jettisoned by the club earlier in his career after disagreements with Sir Alex Ferguson, arrives back on a five-year deal after months of prolonged speculation.
Juventus have announced that United paid them €105m for the Frenchman – around £89m – with a further €5m in performance-related add-ons.
There is also believed to be a large bonus around the £20m mark paid to agent Mino Raiola on top of the fee paid to the Serie A champions, taking the value of the deal well over the £100m mark. With or without the agent fee, the value of the move comfortably outstrips the £85.3m paid to Tottenham by Real Madrid for Gareth Bale back in 2013.
Pogba (and Raiola) kept attention fully focused on the story despite Gonzalo Higuain’s blockbuster €90m move to Juve thanks to a series of social media teases in the weeks leading up to the move’s completion.
The France star appeared in a number of short adverts released on Adidas’ social media channels, poking fun at the speculation surrounding his move with a newspaper full of the words ‘blah blah blah’ (a reference to Raiola’s tweet the previous week) and telling fans not to believe everything they read in the newspapers.
A second, extended version of the clip was released the following day, prominently featuring Manchester United logos and shirts, shortly after Pogba had posted a picture to his Instagram account with filters applied to accentuate everything red in the picture.
The masterful social media campaign created a bombardment of publicity fitting for a world record transfer, putting Pogba’s move up there with the most highly anticipated of the summer as he looks to bounce back from disappointment with France at Euro 2016.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 9, 2016