Ahead of Manchester United’s Carabao Cup match on Tuesday, multiple reports have emerged of an extraordinary fallout between manager José Mourinho and star midfielder Paul Pogba. Several outlets have apparently been briefed that Mourinho has told Pogba — in front of all the players — that the Frenchman will never captain United again. Pogba had essentially been made vice-captain this season by Mourinho, wearing the armband in Antonio Valencia’s absence. The added responsibility was seen by many to be a peace offering (after Mourinho’s less-than-complimentary comments over the summer) as well as a challenge to Pogba to step up into a leadership role on the pitch.
Jose Mourinho has told his mufc players that Paul Pogba will not captain the team again. Mourinho annoyed with Pogba’s attitude & wanted to remind the players that no one is bigger than the club. More @TimesSport— Paul Hirst (@hirstclass) September 25, 2018
As per others, Paul Pogba told by Jose Mourinho he will not captain @ManUtd again. Puts into context this in programme tonight: "(The game against Wolves was) an important lesson; a lesson that I repeat week after week after week, a lesson that some boys are not learning."— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) September 25, 2018
Instead, Mourinho is said to be unimpressed with Pogba’s inconsistent application, and likely upset by the midfielder’s post-match comments on Saturday, which could easily have been seen as a criticism of the manager’s tactics.
“The move is designed to underline Mourinho’s authority at Old Trafford after a series of episodes involving the midfielder that have angered the United boss.
The news was delivered to Pogba and the rest of the players at United’s Carrington training ground on Tuesday, three days after the Frenchman appeared to blame the Portuguese coach for a lack of attacking football following the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday -- a result which left United eight points behind leaders Liverpool after just six games.”
It appears that the relationship between the two men has now hit a new low, with neither coming out of this ongoing conflict looking any better for it. Mourinho will surely be asked after the match about these reports, although Pogba will not be involved against Derby, as these multiple stories are surely too coordinated to be dismissed out of hand.