Patrick Vieira has admitted Manchester City made a mistake in not securing the signature of compatriot Paul Pogba when he left Manchester United.
The Frenchman left Manchester for Turin on a Bosman free transfer ahead of the 2012/13 season when he signed for Juventus, where the talented youngster has excelled in midfield.
Speaking to L’Equipe—per Tom Sheen in the Daily Mail—Vieira, who is now the elite development manager at City, said:
He is a player I really like.
I saw him play for Manchester United and to not have signed him when he left that club was a mistake because he is an extraordinary player.
Many tell me that [he plays like I do]. I think he is more attacking than me and perhaps more technically skilled. He's amazing.
Pogba left then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson furious when he turned down the chance to sign a new contract with United.
Speaking with MUTV at the time, Ferguson said:
Pogba signed for Juventus a long time ago as far as we’re aware.
It's disappointing. I don’t think he showed us any respect at all. To be honest, if they carry on that way, they’re probably better doing it away from us.
The midfielder was part of the youth setup at Carrington after joining from Le Havre at the beginning of the 2009/10 season, and many United fans were left disappointed by his eventual departure.
He made seven appearances for the Red Devils—per ESPN FC—including three Premier League outings, but was left frustrated by what he perceived as a lack of first-team action.
It now appears that Pogba is the one that got away for both Manchester clubs.
But the Premier League’s loss has been Serie A’s gain.
The 20-year-old has made 36 appearances for the first team at Juventus and has worked his way into the French national side over recent months.
The talented youngster, whose contract at Juventus runs until 2016, possesses an ability on the ball beyond his years, and he has attracted the interest of numerous other European clubs.
According to Sky Sports, Real Madrid have enquired about bringing the Frenchman to the Santiago Bernabeu, while Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly interested in securing his services.
Vieira's recent comments suggest City may also pay more than a passing glance if Pogba becomes available in the near future.