Rio Ferdinand has warned Manchester United that if a failure to sign Paul Pogba could have “an adverse effect” on the current playing squad.
United remain locked in negotiations with Juventus over a deal for the midfielder, who is expected to cost a world record fee of over £100million.
And as the end of the transfer window draws nearer, Ferdinand believes it is imperative the Red Devils finally land the 23-year-old.
“As a player in the changing room, you’ve been thinking for so long: ‘He’s coming, he’s coming’. If he doesn’t sign it could have an adverse effect mentally on the players in the changing room,” he said.
“For a short period of time at least. It’s important they sign him.”
“Players don’t hold deals up, they either want to go or they don’t. It’s not the players, it’s the details between the clubs that’s the problem.
“His personal terms with the club would have been sorted, if they’ve spoken, all them things will be agreed. It’s just about the clubs agreeing little details.”
Former United defender Ferdinand was a player at Old Trafford when Pogba came up through the youth ranks before leaving for Juventus.
And the 37-year-old refuted suggestions the France international is rejoining the club due to the lure of a bumper pay-packet.
“I speak to Paul, I know him. He’s someone for whom it’s all about football. It’s not about money,” he said.
“The biggest thing for me and my own family [upon joining United in 2002] wasn’t the money, it was: ‘What’s Giggsy like? What’s Keane like?’
“Paul’s like that. He loves football. It’s all about improving and being the best. When he left I asked him why and he said: ‘I want to be the best player in the world.’ He’s on the right track. He’s not there yet.”
Ferdinand himself knows the pressure which comes with moving for a big transfer fee, having joined the Red Devils from arch rivals Leeds United for £30million in 2002.
While he acknowledges the potential monumental cost of the Pogba transfer reflects badly on the club, the former England international-turned pundit believes all will be forgotten if the Euro 2016 runner-up helps bring back trophies to Old Trafford.
“Of course it isn’t [good value] but, listen, when Chelsea sold [Nemanja] Matic and bought him back for £20m-plus it was the same… it’s bigger than that but it’s still a loss,” he added.
“That’s the way it goes. When he comes it’s just going to be down to the black and white: Will he perform? Will Manchester United win trophies?
“That’s how you get judged. People were saying when I went there that £30million was too much but then we started to win and people now look back and think ‘you know what, it wasn’t that expensive’.
“When you can say you’ve won six Premier League titles in 12 years, it’s okay. If he goes there for £100m and in 10 years he wins five titles and earns £100m worth in shirts sales, you’ll say ‘well done, good business.’”