Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has lashed out at reporters for peddling “lies” regarding a breakdown in his relationship with Paul Pogba.
Mourinho’s decision to drop Pogba and haul him off in two of United’s last three fixtures has stoked rumours of crisis at the club as they now sit 16 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
But the Portuguese coach has denied reports of a rift with his star midfielder, saying his only problem with Pogba is that of his form, Goal writes.
“When you say ‘a lot of speculation’ you should say a lot of lies. Because I accept and Paul accepts that he has not been playing well in the last few matches. But that’s all,” Mou said.
“A big lie that our relationship is not good, a big lie that we don’t communicate, a big lie that we don’t agree with his positions and his involvement in the dynamic of the team
“So, be objective and say what we all know: in the last couple of matches he didn’t play well. Period. End of story. Now, it’s my problem and Paul’s problem to deal with it and try to improve his performance level.”
Mou was also irked by the debate regarding Pogba’s best position and if the Red Devils can bring the best out of him.
“I would like you to tell me which position Pogba played in against Newcastle.
“Do you know which is Pogba’s preferred system? Four-three-three. Do you know Pogba’s favourite position in a 4-3-3? Eight on the left, so it’s easy and honest and objective to say Paul didn’t play well against Newcastle, but don’t let people read things that are not true.
“You are paid to read the game and explain the game. Don’t say bull****.”
The manager also debunked rumours that Pogba could look to find a route out of Old Trafford in the summer.
“He was out for a long, long time and in this moment he is not playing well, period. And the team needs him at a good level,” Mou added.
“When he is not a good level, the team is not as good. It happens with every team when the most crucial players are not performing.
“You don’t need to come with ‘we want to sell him’, you don’t need that.
“Some people go in that direction, some of them I know for many, many years and their surname is liar, and that’s not nice.
“He plays tomorrow [against Huddersfield].”
Mou’s men tackle the Terriers in the FA Cup fifth round, ahead of a tough-looking schedule that sees them take on Sevilla in the Champions League, and Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Liverpool in the Prem.