Rio Ferdinand has admitted the Manchester United squad were left feeling bemused when the club allowed Paul Pogba to join Juventus in 2013. The highly-rated French midfielder has been linked with a money-spinning return to Old Trafford this summer, and Ferdinand has revealed he was shocked Pogba was ever allowed to leave.
The 23-year-old star quit the Premier League club after failing to agree a new contract with United. And Ferdinand has shed light on the reaction of the United players to Pogba's exit.
Discussing the midfielder, the ex-United defender wrote in the Sunday Times: "He was 17, nearly 18, and before he came into the changing room I said, 'Listen, this kid, I've seen him play for the reserves and youths and he has something.'
"After he trained, not a player in that Manchester United first team disagreed. Everyone was sold on Paul Pogba. When he left United every player was saying, 'What the hell is going on?' But he came to a decision to leave and sometimes these things happen in football."
Ferdinand lavished praise on Pogba for excelling during his post-United career, having become a key player for Juventus. But as rumours circulate about a possible £100m ($129.5m) return to Old Trafford, Ferdinand has admitted he would "love" to see Pogba play for United once again.
"I would love him to return. United need personalities. The Premier League needs personalities. The league needs star players, charisma, and at the moment they are not in England," he said of the reported United transfer target.
New United manager Jose Mourinho has already signed defender Eric Bailly, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and record-breaking Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, a move for Pogba would be the most high-profile of his United tenure so far, as it could amount to a world-record transfer deal.