Manchester United‘s season hasn’t even started and already there are reports that the strained relationship between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho has not been healed by a summer apart.
After a frustrating and inconsistent 2017/18 campaign for the Frenchman, he came to the fore with some excellent performances at the World Cup as France won the tournament, with Pogba among the goals in the final.
According to the Times, Pogba is said to have been angered by comments from Mourinho that implied Pogba’s success at the World Cup could not be replicated in the conditions of a full season.
“Paul was like the [France] team,” Mourinho said. “He started average and ended top.
“The World Cup takes one month and for one month the players are in a closed camp, isolated from the external world, isolated from commercial compromises and isolated from every possible influence.
“They just think about football. It’s a perfect habitat for a young, talented player to grow up and flourish.”
The report claims Pogba has told his teammates of his displeasure with Mourinho’s criticism, though in the absence of any concrete quotes these claims should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Pogba has admitted in the past that he has had “small issues” with Mourinho, a notoriously tough taskmaster. However, he has also insisted that he thrives under the pressure of criticism.
These rumours come amid reports that Barcelona are interested in Pogba. The Spanish champions could use United’s interest in Yerry Mina as leverage to take the Frenchman to the Nou Camp.
The Blaugrana have reportedly made an offer of £45m plus Mina and Andre Gomes, but this bid was deemed “derisory” by United.