Juventus celebrate the return of ‘champion’ Pogba


World Cup-winning French midfielder Paul Pogba is back in Serie A with Juventus on a free transfer announced by the Italian giants on their website © AFP / FRANCK FIFE

Rome (AFP), July 11 – World Cup-winning French midfielder Paul Pogba has returned to Serie A side Juventus on a free transfer, the Italian giants announced on their website on Monday.

The 29-year-old enjoyed a very successful first stint at Juventus (2012-16) before Manchester United rushed to sign him for a club record €105m ($106m).

“Paul is back in Turin,” Juventus said on their website alongside a picture of a smiling Pogba in a Juventus shirt.

“He left as a boy and comes back as a man and a champion.

“But there is one thing that has not changed: the desire to write again together unforgettable pages in the history of the club.

“Pogba is back and we couldn’t be happier.”

Pogba passed his medical over the weekend and signed a four-year deal that will earn him eight million euros ($8.12 million) per season, plus a potential two million euros in bonuses.

“Juventus Football Club SpA announces that it has signed an employment contract with player Paul Pogba,” the statement read.

“Juventus will incur ancillary costs of 2.5 million euros, to be paid by August 31, 2022.

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“Juventus and the player have signed an employment contract until June 30, 2026.”

He joins Juve after his contract with Manchester United expired at the end of last month, marking the end of six largely disappointing years in England.

Dysfunctional United are further from the top of English football than when they arrived. They haven’t won a Premier League title for nine years.

The 2017 Europa League and the League Cup of the same season are a bad run for Pogba at one of the biggest clubs in the world, especially since they both came under Jose Mourinho, a period when Pogba said he first suffered from depression.

Pogba is set to inherit the number 10 shirt from Paulo Dybala, who could join Juve’s fiercest rivals Inter Milan after the Argentine striker was let go by the Turin giants.

Pogba wore this shirt in his final season at Juve, joining iconic playmakers such as Roberto Baggio, Alessandro del Piero, Michele Platini and Liam Brady.

He had moved to Juve from United four years previously as a teenager and made a huge impression in a slick midfield featuring Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal.

Paul Pogba wore the iconic number 10 shirt during his first spell at Juventus © AFP/File / OLIVIER MORIN

Pogba blossomed when coach Massimiliano Allegri replaced Antonio Conte in 2014. The Frenchman led a powerful side to the Champions League final the following year, losing to Barcelona.

He won the Serie A title in each of his four seasons at the Old Lady of Italian football and retained his affection for Juve. He has been linked with a return on several occasions during his time at United.

Allegri hopes Pogba can help Juve regain their former glories after finishing fourth last season, 16 points behind champions AC Milan.

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Pogba is Juve’s second notable signing in recent days. The club secured the signing of veteran Argentina winger Angel Di Maria after he was released by French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

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