Manchester United still rings a bell

It made sense to me when Kevin Durant during the Free Agency declined to even meet Lakers, forget about even deciding to join the franchise. After all Lakers are a team which is easily 2-3 seasons away from again being the force to reckon with, after all it isn’t easy to have a life without Kobe especially when he is now part of the whole glitz city’ DNA. Lakers is a young core which may or may not grow as expected, but going by the signs the future is surely purple & gold. For an NBA franchise finding a place in the playoffs and hopefully going on to win the conference & championship is what drives them all, that is exactly what drives the big talents like Kevin Durant to choose their new homes & hence the Warriors made sense.

For a European football club winning their league is what is equivalent to winning the conference in NBA and the UEFA Champions League can be considered to winning that precious ring when you win the NBA Championship. So for a team like Manchester United that isn’t even in the Champions League this season have managed to attract some of the biggest available talents in Europe, and proving that they still are a Box Office.

United’s transfer business started with bringing on Ivorian center back Eric Bailly from Spanish side Villarreal for  €38 m, this was followed by Armenian magician Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Dortmund for  €42m and post Euros it was time to welcome talismanic celebrity striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a free transfer. It is to notice Bailey who is 22 yrs old while Mkhitaryan is 27 yrs old still have some years ahead of them, but for a Ibra who is 34 already and loves winning trophies could have easily joined any Champions League club around the world but he chose United who would be playing in Europa League. What made him choose United?

Paul Pogba was on United’s book four years ago and was considered to be the future of Old Trafford, when a tiff between Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola & United God Alex Ferguson led to the 19 yr old leaving for Turin on a free transfer. Today the prodigal or not-so prodigal has returned to United for a mammoth  €105m, I am not pointing fingers at the value of the transfer especially keeping in mind that Pogba is just 23 yrs old, his peak is still to come and he is already a beast. The brand value that Pogba will bring to the club is part of the reason for transfer value to cross the century mark, after all it is the first time an active lifestyle brand has created a campaign around the whole Pogba transfer saga, bravo to that Adidas. Again Pogba could have gone anywhere, but he chose Manchester United?

From where I see there are various reasons to it, a club like Manchester United is synonym to power & prestige, it is a thought that crosses any talented youngsters mind that one day I would want to play for United, and then in this case you are talking about a youngster who has tasted the feeling of being in the stadium of Dream and playing in front of 75,000 odd Red Devil faithfuls. No offence against the Juventus fans, or the beautiful Old Lady, they are record-breaking five times consecutive Serie-A winners, but for a Pogba it wasn’t a Manchester United.

The Special One, he might not have been special last season and his exit from his much beloved Stamford Bridge was evidence to that. May be learning under a manager of Jose Mourinho’s caliber might have helped in Pogba’s decision after all no one can doubt in the magic the two-time Champions League winner Mourinho cant create at any club he manages. For a 23 yr old who won all national trophies at United while being unsuccessful in Europe, he sure is ready to wait for another year before he again gets to compete for the Champions League while being at the place which will always be his first home.

This is my only conspiracy theory, and my favourite too. Let me just make it clear, I absolutely love notorious yet authoritative sports agent be Jorge Mendes or in this Mino Raiola. If words on the street is right, Raiola is going to earn almost  €20m from this transfer and may be just may be, these two might be the only clubs who could have earned him that much money.

As a football fan and a sports professional, I do believe in betting into the future and that is exactly what United has done, especially with the talent the lanky youngster has shown in past four years. So let us just put all the reason for his transfer to rest and stick what to Pogba had to say in his first interview:

It feels I was on a holiday and now I am back home

~Paul Pogba

For a club like Manchester United, I genuinely feel there is never a reason not to join them. You might be in any part of the world and between football fans you can always talk about the illustrious Red Devils.

Go on then bring a David Moyes or a Louis Van Gaal or even spend 185 million Euros in one transfer window, but all Old Trafford faithfuls want is the big trophies to return to United.

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