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Paul Pogba will leave Manchester United on a free transfer

World champion Paul Pogba will leave Manchester United on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of June, the club have confirmed.

France midfielder Pogba, 29, cost United a then world record £89million when he rejoined the club 2016 by Juventus.

In his second term, he played 27 games in an injury-plagued last season.

“It was a low-key end to a United career that had so many individual highlights,” said the club.

“So many beautiful goals, assists and skills.

“For a lad to come into the academy at 16 to play over 200 United games and win the Youth Cup, along with two big silver medals, is something that should be applauded and celebrated.”

Also left United when his contract expiresexternal link At the end of June, England attack midfielder Jesse Lingard.

Pogba joined United in 2009 as a 16-year-old from French club Le Havre and was part of the academy side that won the Youth Cup in 2011.

He only made seven senior appearances before his contract expired in July 2012 and he joined Juventus.

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba’s last goal for Manchester United was the 1-1 draw at Burnley in February

Pogba won eight major honors in Turin, including four consecutive Serie A titles, before making a record-breaking return to Old Trafford.

He won the EFL Cup and Europa League in his first season at the club but they would prove to be the only trophies he would win in his second spell.

A disagreement with then-manager Jose Mourinho saw him lose the vice-captain in 2018 and injuries and sporadic form lessened his impact.

Pogba scored 39 goals in 233 games in his two tenures at the club but his last home game against Norwich City in April saw him mocked by his own followers how he was substituted.

He also thanked in a message for the “unconditional support of the fans”. social mediaexternal link after the club’s announcement that he was leaving.

“I feel privileged to have played for this club,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Many beautiful moments and memories, but above all the unconditional support of the fans. Thank you Man Utd.”

“The epitome of United’s confused thinking”

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

Despite all the platitudes in their statement, the brutal truth is that Manchester United paid money for Paul Pogba twice – as a child to get him from Le Havre and then when it cost a then world record £89m to get him from Juventus to buy – and he left twice for nothing.

And at no point has Pogba delivered the consistently high level of performance United needed from him.

There were flashes of inspiration, notably his two-goal contribution to a famous 3-2 comeback win at Manchester City in 2018 and his four assists against Leeds United on the opening day of the season just concluded.

But they were too fleeting and compared to the influence of players like Kevin de Bruyne at Manchester City and even Fabinho at Liverpool, Pogba’s impact was only occasional.

It seemed like United spent all that money on Pogba the second time around with no plan on how to get the best out of him. It meant his feisty off-field persona was beginning to chink.

He fell out badly with Jose Mourinho, who stripped him of his vice-captainship for agitating for a move from Old Trafford and failed to repay the trust Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued to show in him.

Wherever Pogba goes – and Juventus haven’t been deterred from re-signing him – it’s possible he will make a big impact.

But at Old Trafford he is destined to be the epitome of the muddled thinking and waste that has so far driven them away from Manchester City and Liverpool.

‘Thanks for the reminder’

On a busy day at United, the club announced that Lingard, 29, would join the Red Devils after making 232 appearances and scoring 35 goals.

West Ham United have asked for the player following a successful loan spell in 2020-21 when he scored nine goals in 16 Premier League starts.

Lingard only started in two Premier League games last season and said he felt abandoned about his treatment over the past 12 months.

Jesse Lingard celebrates a goal for Manchester United
Jesse Lingard scored twice in the Premier League in 2021-22

The player, who joined United at Under-9 level in 2001, is keen to revive his 32-cap England career after playing in World Cup qualifiers in September and October 2021.

He almost earned Euro 2020 selection thanks to some outstanding loan performances at West Ham.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jesse for all the memories he has created during his two decades here and wish him the best of luck in his future career,” United said in a statement.

Lingard leaves after helping United win the FA Cup, Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield.

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