Pogba deal shows Manchester United is now a factory, says Houllier

Gerard Houllier - Aston Villa Manager

The former Liverpool boss says Pogba may find it hard to hit the ground running in his second spell at Manchester United.

France's Paul PogbaPogba is the world's most expensive player

Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has told French newspaper L'Equipe that Manchester United's world-record deal for Paul Pogba shows they have lost their identity as a club, adding they are more of a "factory".

Pogba completed his return to Old Trafford on Tuesday following an £89 million move from Serie A champions Juventus, having initially left Manchester four years ago for just £800,000.

(L-R) - Joshua King, Wayne Rooney, Paul Pogba and Darren Fletcher - Manchester United substitutes

The fee for the 23-year-old is the most expensive paid for a footballer ever, overtaking the £85 million paid by Real Madrid to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.

And Houllier believes that Pogba may find it hard to live up to such a substantial price tag, which he says will bring unwanted levels of pressure.

Gerard Houllier in the stands before the match

He told L'Equipe: "The sum involved in the transfer has an inhibiting side. It could become a problem depending on the personality of the player, who shouldn't put himself under pressure in terms of that. That's why the manager's discourse is very important."

But he says the deal also says a lot about Manchester United's wider status in the game, adding that their financial might means they can no longer be considered to be just a football club, having also splashed out on Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this summer.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

"Manchester United generate impressive income. €120 million over five years?" he added. "That's an installment of €25 million per season. It's reasonable when you have a budget of over €500 million because Man United carry out purchases or sales every transfer window of around €50 million.

"It's no longer a club. It's a factory."

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