Jose Mourinho has revealed “another big club” was in for Paul Pogba and the Manchester United boss says it was “hard” to persuade the player to join him at Old Trafford.
Pogba arrived from Juventus last month for a world-record £89million fee, but it was far from straight forward with negotiations taking place over numerous weeks.
Mourinho has admitted he had to bombard the France international with texts to keep him away from the clutches of another European giant.
Real Madrid were interested in Pogba but were unwilling to match the huge fee Mourinho’s United offered.
“Oh! It was hard to convince him,” Mourinho told Goal. “I had many [conversations] on the phone, lots of SMS.
“I think he was getting one in the morning from the manager from another big club and one in the afternoon from myself. I had to try hard to convince him to choose us instead of the other one.”
Mourinho has drafted in Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly and despite the hiccup against Man City they have made a strong start and the Portuguese boss is in a “positive” frame of mind.
“I have a very positive feeling,” he said. “Rome was not built in one day and a football team is probably more difficult to build than Rome was!
“The feeling is that they want to work for me, they have the same level of ambition and commitment that I have and step by step, by a tactical and mental point of view, I have great feelings with the answers they are giving. So yes, I am very positive.”
The 53-year-old also says he is loving life in the home dug-out at Old Trafford after years of sitting on the visitors’ bench.
“It feels like I am at home,” he said. “I didn’t feel strange or under pressure. I am enjoying the situation very, very much so I think we can both – me and the club – enjoy this professional relationship.
“For me I played so many times at Old Trafford as an opponent and – winning or not winning – I enjoy so much the atmosphere and the stadium.
“You can imagine that being at home with that amazing support behind the team is a moment to remember as one of the nicest ones in my career.”