By David Anderson
Sir Alex Ferguson is set to be snubbed by French starlet Paul Pogba, who is quitting Manchester United to sign for Juventus on a free transfer.
Fergie has spent the whole season trying to persuade the 19-year-old to sign a new deal and had earmarked him for a big role in United’s future.
However, the midfielder is turning his back on the club – who will be entitled to compensation – to agree a four-year deal worth nearly £20,000-a-week with new Italian champions Juve.
Pogba’s defection is a blow to Ferguson.
He had fast-tracked him into his first team, handing him seven appearances this season.
Pogba is already 6ft 1in and has been likened to Arsenal and France star Patrick Vieira because of his style and physique.
The Under-19 international, who joined United from Le Havre in 2009, will follow Ravel Morrison, who joined West Ham earlier this season, in exiting Old Trafford.
Ferguson is having increasing problems hanging on to his best young players.
Although, in truth, United were always facing an uphill battle to retain Pogba, whose agent Mino Raiola has excellent relations with Juventus, having represented club director Pavel Nedved when he was a player for them.
Do us a favour: Young hoping Hughes can deliver for United one more time
Manchester United winger Ashley Young is banking on former Reds striker Mark Hughes lending his old club a helping hand in the final act of the title race on Sunday.
Young hopes Hughes, sacked as Manchester City manager in 2009 and now QPR boss, will fire up his players to get a result at City, with Rangers needing a point for survival.
“I’m sure Mark Hughes doesn’t want to go there and lose as they have to get a point for safety,” said the winger.
“So I’m sure he’ll set his side out in the week to go there and do the best they can and hopefully they’ll do that for us.
“It comes down to the last day now and of course it will be disappointing, especially if it goes down to goal difference, and we lose it.
“But I don’t want to think of any negativity, we’ve got to think positively.”