Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has insisted he maintains a “good relationship” with Paul Pogba in contrast to reports of long-running friction.
Mourinho was forced to deny rumours of a falling out earlier this season after confirming the midfielder would no longer feature in his rotating group of vice-captains.
The decision came after television cameras captured them sharing a terse exchange on the training ground in September and the situation was inflamed when Pogba appeared to question his manager’s circumspect tactics.
But, speaking ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Juventus in the Champions League, the Portuguese offered a positive assessment of their understanding.
“One thing is what the press says, and another thing is what Paul says and of course another thing is what I say,” Mourinho told reporters.
“The press says we have a terrible relationship, Paul some weeks ago said we had a typical coach-player relationship, I think we have a good relationship.
“I would classify it as a good relationship between a coach and a football player.”
“We are Manchester United and we always want more,” says @PaulPogba. “We are pushing up, we are on the way, because we can always do better. But I am happy with what we have achieved in two years [since I signed for the club].” #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 6, 2018
Pogba had emerged as a mature figure in France’s triumph at the World Cup and appeared set for a more senior role at Old Trafford after briefly taking on the armband in Antonio Valencia’s absence.
The 25-year-old, often linked with both Barcelona and former club Juve, claimed not to have been irked by Mourinho stripping him of the responsibility.
“It didn’t affect me,” he said. “I’m still playing and really happy to play.
“The manager is the one who chooses who is going to be captain. If he takes the armband away, it doesn’t change anything for me.
“I just want to play, perform and give my best for the team, the fans and the club and that’s it. It didn’t really touch me or affect me.”
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