Pogba not worth $177 million, says Richard Buxton
Other options available to Mourinho to fill United's midfield void
For a club that seemingly wants for nothing, Manchester United continue to demand everything.
Perennially fixated on being the best, their battle for supremacy knows no bounds.
Already boasting the biggest stadium, an elite manager and as many commercial partnerships as they have major honours, the quest for relevance is never-ending.
Across town, Manchester City are considered to be the "noisy neighbours" and richer than god, but United are hell-bent on both shouting louder than their local rivals and proving that they are a higher power in their own right.
Prestige has often triumphed over practicality at Old Trafford, dating back decades, and threatens to do so again in a summer where extravagance has been more than forthcoming with the arrival of Jose Mourinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and others.
Sir Matt Busby Way remains abuzz with talk of unfinished business, with Paul Pogba the object of affection.
The pang of regret that he was allowed to leave the club where his mercurial talents were honed for just £800,000 ($1.4m) in compensation is still raw, four years on.
It already ranks among some of history's worst business decisions, like Ron Wayne selling his shares in Apple for just US$1,077 ($1,451) or Decca Records passing up on The Beatles.
Or blowing £59.7m on Angel di Maria.
Smashing the world transfer record with a £100m bid for Pogba would see United's transfer megalomania plummet fresh depths.
Old Trafford remains littered with cautionary tales of why going bigger is not always better.
Shifting Juan Mata, who cost £37.1m, will be a priority for Mourinho as well, after he off-loaded the Spaniard to United a little over two years ago.
Such outlays, largely at the behest of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, have resembled a 12-year-old throwing together a dream team on Fifa 16 far more than assembling a squad capable of challenging for the Premier League title.
Rhyme and reason have been largely conspicuous in their absence in the recruitment process of United in recent times.
A Pogba capture would follow the theme of luxury at a time when necessity is key in Mourinho's efforts to restore United back to the pinnacle of English and continental football.
Current challengers for the Juventus midfielder's preferred role are both plentiful and capable - Ander Herrera, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jesse Lingard spring to mind - before Henrikh Mkhitaryan's £26m arrival from Borussia Dortmund is even broached.
Competent alternatives are available at a fraction of the fee and far closer to home.
Dimitri Payet's £50m price tag would still be half of the figure that 23-year-old Pogba is set to command while any deal for N'Golo Kante, his France teammate and now an EPL winner, would come in at just over a third of the cost.
The argument that Pogba would deliver star quality also carries little merit on the back of a £200,000 per week outlay on Ibrahimovic.
At 34, the Swede striker will not inject bursts of pace on a whim but is still capable of inspired moments on the grand stage.
Pogba's eye-watering valuation should also have red flags flying from the Stretford End's rafters. Real Madrid have declined the chance to sign the player on financial grounds alone.
Even the current European champions, for whom money is no object, cannot see any logic in such largesse.
Re-signing Pogba would not see United usurp them as the world's biggest club - only the most gullible.
Name: Paul Pogba
Born: March 15, 1993
Euro 2016 stats:
- Games: 7
- Goals: 1
- Assists: 0
- Shots: 16
- On target: 7
- Blocked: 3
- Hit woodwork: 1
WHAT THE OTHERS SAY...
I think his style of football will suit the Premier League more than the Spanish league. So Pogba now coming into a league where it is tough, where he can show what he’s all about, I think is a perfect fit for him and for Man United.
— Former United player Paul Ince on Paul Pogba
Forget about France, I think he can be one of the best midfielders in history. He has the quality to do that.
— Former Arsenal player Thierry Henry
ROONEY AIMS TO IMPRESS MOURINHO
Skipper Wayne Rooney says Jose Mourinho's appointment as Manchester United manager has given him extra motivation for the new Premier League season.
Mourinho, tasked with making United title contenders once more after the sacking of Louis van Gaal in May, has signalled that he sees Rooney playing up front - rather than the deeper midfield position he took up for England and the Red Devils at the back end of last season.
Rooney, 30, who is only four goals behind Bobby Charlton's record haul of 249 in United's all-time top-scorers list, told Inside United magazine: "I'm really excited to be working with Jose this season as he's one of the best managers in the world.
"It's an exciting time for Manchester United. I've always respected him both as a man and a manager, he's a nice guy and one of the most successful managers of all time.
"I like to think I'm always motivated as a player but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit more motivated when a new manager comes in.
"I'm sure all the lads will be happy to be working under Jose and also eager to impress."
Rooney, who has been joined at Old Trafford over the summer by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ivorian defender Eric Bailly and Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, said he had never enjoyed an easy game against a Mourinho side.
"His teams are always hard to beat, tactically disciplined and, most importantly, successful," Rooney said of the former Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Porto boss.
"He'll bring all these qualities with him and I'm sure he'll have his own ideas, but one of the biggest assets will be his experience.
"He's managed a lot of successful teams throughout his career and all that experience will be vital." - AFP.
I like to think I’m always motivated as a player but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit more motivated when a new manager comes in.
— Wayne Rooney
I understand that they expect a lot from me but I also expect a lot from them. There is no chance we will be happy if we are not together and I think the passion (they have) for this club is really amazing.
— New manager Jose Mourinho telling the club’s website