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Ferdinand backs returning Pogba to become the world's best

Rio Ferdinand has wished Manchester United's returning midfield star Paul Pogba good luck at Old Trafford, and backed him to become the best player in the world.

Former England international Ferdinand was a veteran player under Alex Ferguson when the Frenchman first came to Manchester, and watched him develop before departing for Juventus.

Now, as Pogba nears a big-money return to United, Ferdinand has used Facebook to post a lengthy tribute to the young dynamo.

"Paul knew what he wanted - he wanted to be the best player that his ability would allow," he wrote. "He knew hard work aligned with his natural talent would go a long way to getting him there.

"You could see he had a pure love of the game, always around to do freestyle skills before and after training, extra work on the training ground on various areas of his game and, importantly, you could see he was his own man, not a follower - someone who would not be influenced by others.

"He is well on his way [to becoming the best], and, with the platform of Old Trafford, he has a real opportunity to be the next Man United player after Cristiano Ronaldo to be crowned the best player in the world.

"Man United need to build around a group of young, hungry players like [Anthony] Martial, [Jesse] Lingard, [Marcus] Rashford, and Pogba is the one to lead that group from the front - the only way he would want it. Good luck, Paul."

Pogba is expected to complete his move this week, with his medical taking place on Monday ahead of a switch for what is expected to be a new world-record fee.