Paul Pogba has revealed that he turned down an offer from Real Madrid last year in order to follow his heart and rejoin Manchester United.
The Frenchman, following four superb years with Juventus, joined Man United for a then world record fee of £89m, which now looks like something of a steal.
And following early criticism of his performances the 24-year-old has now firmly asserted himself as the heartbeat of Jose Mourinho’s side.
Speaking on the Beyond the Pitch podcast, Pogba revealed that an offer from Zinedine Zidane had tempted him but insisted he was always going to pick Old Trafford instead.
“To be honest, Real Madrid came to me and I was thinking to go there, and I was thinking to go to Manchester United too,” he said.
“But I always felt it in my heart. My heart told me to come back here, I don’t know why, I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“But I did it, and I don’t regret. I never regret my choice.”
Pogba could have joined a team in its prime, fresh from winning the Champions League for the second time in three years, and would have gone on to win another league title and, yes, the Champions League once again. He would have slotted in perfectly alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
And the rest of Europe should be thankful that he didn’t. The Frenchman wanted to challenge himself, to join a side trying to forge a new identity all over again, and place himself at the centre of a side that, just four years before, had no place for him.
Nine months later, he was the Europa League’s ‘Player of the Tournament’ after leading United back to the Champions League, and he has continued to kick on in emphatic fashion.
With Pogba thriving at the heart of midfield, United look like they can compete with anyone in Europe, and supporters will just hope that Mourinho has the license to build on that in January and over the summer.