Jose Mourinho 'Blocking the Transfer' of Paul Pogba Amid Juventus Interest
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Fabrizio Romano of Calciomercato.com reported Mourinho isn't willing to give up on Pogba and wants him to feature as one third of a midfield corps that will also contain Nemanja Matic and rumoured transfer target Fred of Shakhtar Donetsk.
Juve have been speculated as suitors for Pogba since his first disappointing season back in England, but it's doubtful whether the Bianconeri would have the transfer funds or wage structure to pull off such a deal.
The France international has been in poor form compared to the four years in Turin that earned him his then-record-breaking move back to Old Trafford in 2016, but The Times' Alex Kay told TalkSport he has hope for a return to his best:
Pogba's stock is at something of a low, two seasons removed from his £89.3 million move back to Manchester. He has struggled to consistently capture the same swashbuckling style that made him such a hit in Serie A.
But it appears Mourinho believes he can conjure the best out of Pogba once again, and United legend Roy Keane suggested it's the tools around the midfielder that matter most, per The Independent:
Roy Keane on Paul Pogba: “I like him, I think he’s a good player, a good kid. He probably needs better help around him, good influences around the training ground."
It's true that Pogba, for a time, had the likes of Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo around him at Juve, two specialists of their craft who simplified his job immensely. But having since raised his profile and moved to a new setting with new pressures, the formula hasn't been working for the 25-year-old since he rejoined United.
The midfielder scored six goals and provided 10 assists in 27 Premier League appearances last season, showing Pogba is productive even when encountering criticism for failing to hit previous heights.
There are inevitable fears Pogba could decide to leave the Red Devils for a second time because of his struggles, although his recent social media activity suggests otherwise (h/t Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News):