Back in January, Juventus talisman Gigi Buffon referred to Manchester United as ‘blind’ for allowing Paul Pogba to slip out of their grasp.
The Frenchman slipped the net at United to join the Turin outfit on a free transfer in the summer of 2012, frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities at Old Trafford.
Buffon noted that it took him and the rest of the Juventus squad just a few training sessions to realise the prodigious talent that had entered their ranks.
Pogba since has converted promise into production in northern Italy over the past two-plus years, a key player for both club and country at just 21-years-old.
However, Pogba’s rise has of course drawn the envy of other clubs, particularly the Premier League’s wealthy elite who are interested in snapping him up for themselves.
Chelsea were reportedly weighing up a move for Pogba over the summer even after capturing Cesc Fabregas, whilst United have long been linked with rectifying the mistake of letting him go in 2012 by bringing him back to Manchester.
Yet the latest reports in Italy suggest that Pogba is on the verge of signing a contract extension at Juventus that will see him earn £3.55 million per year until 2018 - holding United and Chelsea at bay for the time being.
And Buffon has now spoken up again regarding his young team-mate – saying locking Pogba down to a new deal would be a statement of intent from Juventus.
Buffon told Sky Sport Italia: “It would be some great news for everyone here at Juventus. And I think it would be great for him too, because the best thing is to understand what it means to embody Juve and its world.
“Pogba could become a legend, an icon for such a glorious club. I believe if he signed an extension, Juve would make a huge statement.”
Buffon knows exactly what it means to play for Juventus – he ranks fifth in total appearances in the club’s history, having joined from Parma in 2001.
The greatest worry for the Old Lady has always been that Pogba will be tempted away by the type of money the club can’t offer, but for the time being it seems he’ll stay put.
And beyond this, backing from the likes of Buffon to become a club icon can only bode well for the Old Lady’s prospects of keeping Pogba in Turin long-term.
Nothing is official yet on the extension but should be soon enough according to the latest – and afterwards, only time will how Pogba’s legacy at Juventus will be written in the history books.