Jose Mourinho says Manchester United should be proud to break the world transfer record by signing Paul Pogba from Juventus this week.
The 23-year-old midfielder, who was allowed to leave United for just £800,000 in 2012, is expected to complete his return to Old Trafford for a reported fee of around 110million euros (£93.2million) on Tuesday after the clubs revealed he was set to undergo a medical in Manchester.
And Mourinho, who did not confirm the fee, believes prices may rise further.
“Football is crazy and the market has become crazy,” said the Portuguese, speaking after his side’s 2-1 victory over Leicester at Wembley in the Community Shield.
“What you think this season is crazy, you realise three years later it’s not crazy any more.
“There are players who cost B£10million who are super expensive because they’re players (who are worth) £500,000 or £1million. What is expensive and not expensive in football I don’t know any more. I just know he is a big player.”
He added: “I don’t think Real were upset when they broke the record with Gareth Bale or Cristiano (Ronaldo). I don’t think it’s a reason to be sad – it’s a reason to be proud.”
Mourinho reckons United can elevate Pogba to the status of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo because he does not have to compete for the limelight alongside either of those two huge stars at Real Madrid or Barcelona.
“United is the perfect club to bring him to the level he wants to be,” he said. “The Premier League is the perfect habitat for that. If you want to be the best player in the world, if you go to Barcelona or Real Madrid you are in trouble because I don’t think the other two big guys will let you.
“Here he is in the most seen, worldwide, championship which is absolutely incredible, with a team which wants to bring Manchester United to the top again. We have everything to give him and we know the reasons why he wants to come to us.
“Money he would get at any big club. He comes because he knows the club, knows the city, many of the players and wants to be an important part of the project. Hopefully everything goes well.”