Juventus vs Man Utd - I’m ‘really happy’ at Utd, says Pogba ahead of return to former club Juve

Posted Wednesday, November 07, 2018 by PA

Juventus vs Man Utd - I’m ‘really happy’ at Utd, says Pogba ahead of return to former club Juve

Paul Pogba allayed talk of a Manchester United exit on his return to Juventus, with the midfielder insisting he is happy under Jose Mourinho and has no regrets about re-joining the Old Trafford giants.

The 25-year-old has been the subject of intense speculation about his future and happiness since returning from Russia as a World Cup winner.

Barcelona have been strongly linked with a move for Pogba, who has previously done little to quell such talk at a time when his relationship with Mourinho has been heavily scrutinised.

Talk of a rift between the pair intensified when footage emerged of a tense training ground exchange just days after France midfielder was stripped of the vice-captaincy.

Odds tumbled on the club-record signing leaving Old Trafford, but Pogba insisted he remains happy at United ahead of facing Juventus in the Champions League on his old stomping ground.

“Do I look sad? Obviously, yes, I’m happy,” Pogba said with a smile. “Like I said again, I am really happy to come back (to United).

“I was really happy to come back to Manchester United, wearing this shirt, playing for this team because it is a big club.

“Obviously when you are playing in a big club like that there is always talk about this club and we know anything can go on.

“But on the pitch, always happy, always with a smile, fighting for my team-mates, fighting for my team, fighting for my club, fighting for the fans.

“That’s all I do and, yes, I am really happy to do that.”

Pogba and Mourinho said before Wednesday’s Group H match that they have a healthy player-coach relationship, while the 25-year-old insists even being stripped off the vice-captaincy did not cause ructions.

“I just want to play, perform – that’s my job – and give my best for my team and for everybody, for the fans, for the club and that’s it,” Pogba said.

“It didn’t really touch me, it didn’t affect me. Nothing changed, really.”

His unwavering determination for trophies also remains.

Pogba embraces the expectations at United and the “challenger” is desperate to bring major trophies back to Old Trafford, where the recent upturn in fortunes, sparked by the dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle, has offered a flicker of hope.

“Everybody start realising that we are Manchester United and obviously we have to play,” Pogba said.

“Before that it was really bad. I think we didn’t have any confidence and stuff like that on the pitch, like altogether we maybe didn’t give enough – something like that.

“But after this game (against Newcastle) we went to national team, we came back and played very well against Chelsea (in a 2-2 draw).

“I think we had a very good performance, all the team, we all play together. I think that’s what changed and when you play together it’s always easier.”

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci is primed for a “huge match” against United – a club whose advances he spurned in the summer.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side know they will seal progress to the Champions League last-16 with two matches to spare should they avoid defeat against Mourinho’s side.

Bonucci could easily have been lining up for United rather than Juventus on Wednesday, having turned down the Old Trafford side’s advances in the summer.

The defender plumped for a return to his old stomping ground and is fully
focused on Wednesday’s game.

“We have a huge match to play against Manchester United tomorrow,” Bonucci said.

“It’s important because we can secure our place in the next round with a win.

“We’ll think about AC Milan after tomorrow evening. That will be another big game and an emotional occasion for me but right now I’m thinking of nothing but United.”

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