Paul Pogba’s brother and three others detained over extortion probe

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Mathias and Paul Pogba  (AFP via Getty Images)
Mathias and Paul Pogba (AFP via Getty Images)

Paul Pogba’s brother Mathias is among four detained as part of an investigation into extortion allegations made by the Juventus football star, sources close to the case said Wednesday.

The former Manchester United midfielder tried to pay the equivalent of £11million to armed blackmailers but they had to settle for £85,000 cash because of the multimillionaire footballer’s bank withdrawal limit.

A criminal investigation is currently underway in France into allegations that the 29-year-old’s own brother, Mathias Pogba, 32, and childhood friends were behind the plot.

Pogba told police that the gang followed him to Manchester and then to Turin, after his transfer to Italian side Juventus earlier this year.

In turn, Mathias Pogba has accused his brother of lying in an attempt to have him imprisoned.

Mathias Pogba is himself a professional footballer who played for Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra and Crawley Town.

He posted a video of himself on social media at the weekend saying he had “explosive revelations” about his brother, saying Pogba did not deserve to play for France.

One of the allegations is that Pogba paid a marabout witchdoctor to cast a spell against Kylian Mbappé, the France and Paris Saint Germain striker.

A statement released by Pogba’s lawyers, his mother, Yeo Moriba, and Rafaela Pimenta, his agent, said the videos “are unfortunately no surprise” and were in addition to “threats and extortion attempts”.

They denied that there was a video of Pogba ordering the witchdoctor to cast a spell on Mbappé

According to the enquiry sources, the millions of euros were being demanded in return for such videos remaining secret.

Acts of intimidation were carried out in Manchester in April, and later around Turin.

During police interviews, Paul Pogba said he had always been close to his childhood friends and helped them out financially when he could.

But in January he kicked one out his house in Manchester after discovering that the unidentified man had used Pogba’s credit card to steal €200,000 – the equivalent of £170,000.

Mathias, who has played for numerous professional clubs including Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra and Partick Thistle, in his weekend video said people needed to know if his brother “deserves his place in the French team and the honour of playing in the World Cup”.

Paul is set to defend the World Cup he won with France in 2018 at the upcoming tournament in Qatar.