Paul Pogba is unhappy with José Mourinho. Reports emerged in past weeks that Pogba was unimpressed with Mourinho’s less than complimentary appraisal of the midfielder’s performances at the World Cup (bit of damning with faint praise), and in off-camera remarks to reporters following Manchester United’s win over Leicester City on Friday, Pogba stopped just short of confirming that there in an issue.
After recent reports had linked the France star with a move to Barcelona — who supposedly had a derisory offer rejected straight away by United — Pogba had the opportunity to end the speculation about both his future and his disagreements with Mourinho. Instead, he made a point to do just the opposite.
Asked whether he was happy and comfortable at the club, Pogba said, “There are things, and there are things that I cannot say, otherwise I will get fined.” He also said “I always give my best for the fans, for the teammates and for the people that trust me [emphasis ours].”
Comparing his experience with his national and club teams, Pogba used that word “trust” yet again.
“I still enjoying playing football, I still love football and I still give my best with the team, for the team. Like I said, when you are comfortable, when people trust with everyone or confident, are good in the head, it’s going to be easier.”
Reading between the lines isn’t necessarily difficult here. There’s no reason to believe that Pogba isn’t being sincere when he says that he loves the club (see his other comments on what wearing the captain’s armband means to him, for example), but it’s clear that he doesn’t love playing under this manager. Even though Barcelona have started the wheels in motion for what will likely be a serious attempt at signing Pogba next year, it is unlikely that Ed Woodward will countenance a sale. If manager and superstar player aren’t seeing eye to eye, Mourinho may well be the more likely one to depart.