LONDON (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho was delighted that Manchester United were on the brink of signing France midfielder Paul Pogba from Serie A champions Juventus, the Portuguese coach said on Sunday.
Mourinho was speaking after United had released a statement saying Juve had given the player permission to have a medical with the club ahead of a potential world record transfer.
“Finally, it’s amazing that such a good player is with us,” Mourinho told a news conference after United’s 2-1 Community Shield victory over English champions Leicester City.
“Finally we have him. He comes to a winning side, a team who have (won) their last two matches, in the FA Cup and today,” Mourinho added. “He has to work hard to come to the team.”
British media have reported that United will pay a world record fee of 105 million euros (£89 million) for the 23-year-old who had joined the Italian giants on a free transfer from the Old Trafford club in 2012.
“Paul Pogba has been granted permission to have a medical in order to finalise his transfer from Juventus to Manchester United,” United said on their website (www.manutd.com).
Pogba, who combines physical strength with outstanding technique, scored eight goals and contributed 12 assists in Juve’s title-winning campaign last season. He has won four Serie A trophies in as many seasons with the Turin club.
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri, speaking after his side’s 3-2 friendly victory over West Ham United at the Olympic Stadium in London on Sunday, declined to confirm that a deal was close.
“I don’t know much,” he told a news conference. “Tomorrow we’ll see if Pogba is still a Juventus player or not.”
Pogba himself tweeted: “When too many people talk nobody understands, talk very soon.”
The Frenchman, who helped his country reach the final at Euro 2016 on home soil, came through Le Havre’s youth system before moving to United’s academy in 2009 on a three-year contract with a one-year renewal option.
United were keen to extend Pogba’s contract but the teenager was frustrated by a lack of first-team chances and decided to leave to the frustration of then United manager Alex Ferguson.
The current world record transfer fee is the 100 million euros Real Madrid paid to sign Wales forward Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.
Writing by Ed Dove, additional reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar; Editing by Clare Fallon and Brian Homewood