The tension brewing at Manchester United has taken another turn after manager Jose Mourinho told star midfielder Paul Pogba that he will never captain the club again while the Portuguese remains in charge.
This comes after the French World Cup winner’s latest outspoken comments criticising United’s overly negative tactics in the wake of a 1-1 draw at home to newly-promoted Wolves on Saturday.
According to The Times, Mourinho informed Pogba in front of his team-mates on Tuesday, claiming the 25-year-old “doesn’t represent what a captain is and Manchester United is bigger than anyone”.
Pogba was not named in the squad for Tuesday’s League Cup clash with Derby, but Mourinho confirmed he had been rested along with a number of other first-team regulars including David de Gea rather than dropped.
The decision is the latest twist in an acrimonious relationship between the pair dating back to Mourinho dropping Pogba routinely for big games last season.
“Mourinho’s message to the United squad, delivered at Carrington today, was designed to underline his authority and remind the players that he is in charge,” added The Times report.
The manager’s decision comes as Pogba is beginning to justify his £89m price tag having scored four times in seven appearances so far.
But he was also at fault when losing possession for Wolves’ equaliser that left United already eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool after six games.
“We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack,” Pogba told the media after the match.
“I think teams are scared when they see Manchester United attacking and attacking. That was our mistake.”
Pogba was linked with a move away from Old Trafford with Barcelona interested before the close of the summer transfer window.
The speculation won’t die down with Mourinho in charge at the club having signed a contract extension until 2021.