Manchester United cleared over Paul Pogba transfer

A world record soccer transfer involving two of Europe’s most successful clubs and one of the leading stars of game is being investigated by football’s world governing body.

Manchester United has been cleared of wrongdoing in the transfer of midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus last summer for a world record $120 million, but FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Italian champions.

FIFA had asked both clubs last month for “clarification on the deal” amid reports in the book “Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football” that the midfielder’s agent, Mino Raiola, had earned $41 million from the transfer.

“We can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Juventus FC,” said a FIFA statement. “We cannot comment further as proceedings are ongoing.

“We can confirm that no disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Manchester United.”

Neither Juventus or Raiola immediately responded to CNN’s request for comment.

Third party ownership

FIFA’s interest in the transfer is believed to relate to whether there has been a breach of third party ownership rules.

Third party ownership, where a company, a hedge-fund, an agent or a single investor takes ownership of all or part of the financial rights to a player — thus benefiting from transfer fees whenever a player is sold — is forbidden in England.

In 2015, FIFA banned third party ownership but said “existing agreements can remain in place until their ordinary contractual expiry.”

During his time as general secretary, FIFA president Gianni Infantino had called third party ownership “a kind of modern slavery.”

If Juventus are found guilty of wrongdoing, the Champions League finalists could be fined or handed a transfer ban.

Last season Pogba helped United win the League Cup and the Europa League.

Pogba scored the opening goal in the 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final, a victory which ensured the Manchester club qualified for next season’s Champions League.