Juventus celebrate the return of ‘champion’ Pogba

World Cup-winning French midfielder Paul Pogba has returned to Juventus on a free transfer, the Italian giant revealed on its website on Monday.

The 29-year-old had a very successful first time at Juventus (2012-16) before Manchester United swooped in to sign him for a then-record €105m ($106m).

“Paul is back in Turin,” Juventus wrote on their website under a picture of a smiling Pogba in a Juventus jersey.

“He left a boy and came back a man and a champion.

“But one thing has remained unchanged – the desire to write together once again unforgettable pages of the club’s history.

“Pogba is back and we are very happy.”

Pogba received treatment over the weekend and signed a four-year contract that will earn him a reported eight million euros ($8.12 million) for the season, plus a potential two million euros in bonuses.

Juventus Football Club SpA announces the signing of player Paul Pogba.

Juventus will incur additional costs of €2.5m to be paid by 31 August 2022.

Juventus and the player have signed an employment contract until 30 June 2026.”

He returned to Juventus after his contract with Manchester United expired late last month, marking the end of a largely disappointing six years in England.

Dysfunctional United are further from the pinnacle of English football than when he joined. They have not won a Premier League title for nine years.

The 2017 Europa League and the same season’s League Cup is a poor result for Pogba at one of the biggest clubs in the world, especially since they both came under José Mourinho, a period when Pogba said he first suffered from depression.

Pogba is expected to inherit the number 10 jersey from Paulo Dybala, who could join Juventus’ fiercest rivals Inter Milan after the Turin giants sacked the Argentine striker.

Pogba wore the jersey in his final season at Juventus, joining iconic playmakers such as Roberto Baggio, Alessandro del Piero, Michele Platini and Liam Brady.

He joined Juve from United four years ago as a teenager and has made a huge impression in the agile midfield, where the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal have played.

Pogba blossomed when coach Massimiliano Allegri replaced Antonio Conte in 2014. The Frenchman led a powerful team to the Champions League final the following year, losing to Barcelona.

He won the Serie A title in each of his four seasons in Italian football’s “Old Lady” and retained his Juventus affiliation. During his time at United, he was linked several times with a comeback.

Allegri hopes Pogba will help Juventus return to their former glory after they finished fourth last season, 16 points behind AC Milan.

Pogba is Juventus’ second notable signing in recent days. The club secured the signature of veteran Argentine striker Ángel Di María after he was released by French champions Paris Saint-Germain.