Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba that he will never captain Manchester United again, further straining the relationship between the manager and his star player.
Pogba laid on a spectacular assist for Fred’s opener in the 1-1 draw against Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday but was later dispossessed by Ruben Neves in the build-up to Joao Moutinho’s equaliser.
Mourinho later slammed the attitude of his players in his post-match press conference, saying: “That’s a basic law of football, you have to play with the maximum of your potential, with the maximum of your focus.
“Unless you are playing in such a weak league where you play against really weak opponents and then playing 20 per cent of potential is enough to win. That’s not the case, and we all know that.”
Pogba later told reporters that United ought to be playing a more attacking style at Old Trafford, seemingly questioning Mourinho’s tactics.
“We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack,” said the 25-year-old. “When we play like this it’s easier for us.
“I think teams are scared when they see Manchester United attacking and attacking. That was our mistake.
“Maybe the attitude should be better and we should play better because, again, we are at Old Trafford and we should just attack and press like we did against Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal last season.”Getty Images
Mourinho’s response, as per reports on Tuesday, was to launch a tirade at Pogba on the training ground in front of the rest of the first-team squad during which he told the Frenchman that he will never captain United again under his watch.
Pogba has served as the vice-captain so far this term, leading the team out against Leicester City, Brighton and Young Boys in the absence of regular skipper Antonio Valencia.
The manager reportedly told the midfielder that he doesn’t have the correct temperament to be a Manchester United skipper, leaving the rest of the squad in no doubt that Mourinho considers no one person to be bigger than the club.
This is just the latest in a string of issues between the two stretching back to the spring when Pogba was first dropped from Mourinho’s starting XI ahead of the Champions League trip to Sevilla.
Pogba was among a number of players left out of the squad for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup home fixture against Derby County, with a total of nine rested and only Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku retained.