“People call me crazy but I want to make history and become the strongest midfielder ever,” Paul Pogba said earlier this year. “I want to be the midfielder who can do everything, and at the highest levels: shooting, dribbling, scoring, defending. I want to be like [Frank] Lampard, but better.”
All eyes are on this rising French professional football player, even in realms other than football; having secured an adidas sponsorship with a $44 million USD deal and being widely recognised for his signature style, the 23-year-old Juventus midfielder is understood to now be in advanced talks with United about a return to Old Trafford, four years after he left to play in Serie A.
Reporter Valentina Fass told Sky Sports News HQ’s Transfer Centre: “Paul Pogba is really in advanced talks with Manchester United.
“They seem to have found an agreement with the player. He should be getting 13m euros net per season plus 7m euros a year for image rights.
“The main problem is the amount that the two clubs have to exchange because of the agent’s fees that total 20m euros.
Complex UK recently sat down with Pogba for an insightful conversation that reveals the athlete’s early days with Manchester United, his favorite songs to warm up to and recent signing with the Three Stripes, just ahead of his highly-anticipated performance with team France at the Euros. Find our favorite excerpts from the interview below and catch the full piece over at Complex.
How do you look back on your time in Manchester?
I really miss Manchester because it’s where I made the most of my teenage years and I had lots of friends there. It’s a different culture, I found they’re more open than French people. I was in digs with a family and they treated me like their son.
Euro 2016 was the first tournament France has hosted since the 1998 World Cup, how important was that tournament to you as a young boy growing up on the streets of Paris?
Of course I remember, when we won the World Cup I was running down the street with my friends celebrating. I’ll never forget the two goals Zizou scored against Brazil, it was the perfect final. To win the World Cup by 3-0 against a team like Brazil in front of your country really made it the perfect final.
Was playing on the streets of Paris a big part of your life growing up?
Yes, everyday. Everyday we’d go on the street to play 5v5 or futsal. That’s Paris, when we play football that’s how it is. We started out in the hood and we’d play between cars and stuff, it was never glamorous.
Talk about the huge deal with adidas that you signed earlier this year. What was it about adidas that made it the right place for you?
Since I was young, I was always playing with adidas – it’s crazy. I always played with Predators, just like the ones Zizou used to wear. I chose adidas because of the product – I love the shoes and they just fit me. Once I wore adidas, it reminded me of when I was younger.
Pusha T recently posted a photo of your boots on Instagram, saying he was a gifted a pair by you. Do you know how that came together?
Pusha T actually helped me get with adidas, he made a nice video to encourage me to sign with adidas – and through that I saw adidas were genuinely interested in me, too. I thought I had to give him a little something, and the boots were a good place to start.
Pusha T and Kanye have both been very hands on in their roles with adidas. Would you like to follow their lead and work on the creative side of the company, too?
Yeah, that’s the objective and it’s what I want. It would be a good challenge for me, to make something outside of football and that’s why I like adidas. It’s about more than football. They want to make an impression on culture, too.
What are you bumping on the pre-match playlist right now?
I love American music, of course. Artists like Future, Drake, Fetty Wap, Young Thug, Travis Scott…U.S. hip-hop is my thing. Not a lot of the other players like it but I put it on anyway. They’re too old, I’m trying to educate.
What’s the ultimate goal for Paul Pogba?
Holding up the Ballon d’Or, of course. That would be a dream, the Ballon d’Or is something else, I’d love it. But I’m still far away and there’s work to do.