Jose Mourinho has denied having a bust-up with Paul Pogba and insists he is happy with the unsettled Frenchman’s attitude at Manchester United.
United are adamant that Pogba will not be sold to Barcelona even though it’s understood that he wants to leave Old Trafford for a second time.
But Mourinho denied that he had been involved in an angry exchange with the 25-year-old midfielder, and praised him for playing against Leicester last week after just four days training.
‘He never had a fight with me,’ said the United manager who looked in high spirits during their training session on Friday – as did Pogba and his team-mates. ‘We never had a warm (heated) exchange of words, everything is respected, I have no problems at all.
‘Don’t put him in a situation that people can think he’s not a polite, educated guy. He is.
‘The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks and I’ve never been so happy with him as I am now. That’s the truth.
‘I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him. He came here on a Monday and trained three days. I asked for his support for his contribution in an important match for us when the team had difficulties. He did it better and for more time than we could expect.’
However, Pogba fuelled concerns that he and Mourinho do not get on by saying that he would be fined if he discussed the issue, despite being made captain and scoring against Leicester.
Asked about the comment, Mourinho said:
‘I don’t care. You have to ask Paul. I’m here for two years and a couple of months, and the only player that was fined was Anthony Martial. So it’s not easy to be fined here, so you have to ask him. I’m not going to ask him. I want him to work the way he is doing and play the way he is doing and that’s all that matters.
‘When he says he did it for the fans and for the team is exactly what I want, is exactly what I demand from my players, he’s working well, playing well, he does for the fans, he does for the team and that’s what I want, to play for the team and I couldn’t be happier than what I am.’
Mourinho confirmed that Pogba will be captain against Brighton on Sunday, although Antonio Valencia will reclaim the armband when he returns from injury.
He added: ‘Young guy but good personality, made in the academy, normally a starting line-up player, he has conditions to be captain in the future. In the continuity of this, he was the captain and he will be the captain again, but when Antonio comes back he will be the captain.’