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Relive Manchester United’s strange unveiling of Paul Pogba

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David Cornish
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Manchester United have completed the transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus for the world record fee of £89 million. 

The 23-year-old Frenchman has rejoined the Manchester club on a five-year deal, four years after leaving for the Serie A team, in a deal that eclipses the previous record set by Gareth Bale's 2013 switch to Real Madrid from Tottenham for £85 million. 

Yes, it's an absurd amount of money for a footballer - the sort of figure that usually gets lobbed about during discussions of national budgets and company earnings. But the digits only form part of the saga; football's transition from a rich sport to reality TV, consumer-driven, operatic drama. 

It all began at 12:35am

Yep. An English club, based in Manchester, England, revealed the biggest signing in its history in the middle of the night. With an X-Factor video soundtracked by more warped effects than the average Transformers film. 

There was a Stormzy brewing

The Manchester United's media circus was almost ruined by Stormzy's clowning antics, with the rapper posting this video on his Facebook channel some hours before the official reveal.

This was the beginning of adidas' process of reclaiming Pogba from the grips of Nike, makers of both Juventus' and France's kits.

Twitter had fun

Well, the bits of it that were awake...

The sponsors were already involved

Despite Jose Mourinho's shrugs and mumbles over the signing, the deal was as good as done when Pogba arrived in Manchester on Monday 8 August - driven not in the back of a tinted four-by-four, but paraded in the front seat of Manchester United's car of choice, a Chevrolet Camaro. 

"Can't I drive my Ferrari?"

"No Pogba. You'll get in the American muscle car whose badge is on your new shirt. And you'll enjoy it."

Then it all got a bit weird

While United season ticket holders slept soundly in their beds in [insert English city several hour's drive from Manchester], Manchester United's media team unveiled the fruit of their weekend's labour: Pogba in this kit! Pogba in that kit! See the kit, kids? BUY THE KIT. IT'S THE SECOND COMING. 

The first interview!

Guys! GUYS! Watch Pogba's first interview! At 1:30am! Come on, the USA is awake... they love football, right? Sorry, soccer. They love soccer. Bloody nuts for it them lot. 

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He does look happy though

Really happy. Happy in the knowledge that he and Manchester United now stand a very good chance of tearing up the Premier League, restoring balance to the world and ensuring Leicester City don't finish top. 

Yes, it's happened before...

Big-name signings have always been an opportunity to sell shirts. When clubs exist on the stock exchange, they become a vital opportunity to stimulate club wealth and prosperity. But Pogba's drawn out, over-hyped return to United, just feels a bit bigger/sillier/more protracted than anything football has seen before.

We'll see you all next summer when Ronald's return makes this look like a village panto, yeah?

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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