Details have emerged of the dramatic events that saw Jose Mourinho remove Paul Pogba as a captain’s option during his tenure as Manchester United manager in 2018
Manchester United players WhatsApp voice notes to Paul Pogba of Jose Mourinho hanging the Frenchman out to dry in a brutal betrayal at the club’s Carrington training base in 2018, it has been claimed.
Pogba returned for a second spell at United in a record £89million deal signed from Mourinho in the summer of 2016 but the midfielder struggled to live up to expectations at Old Trafford
After months of speculation, Manchester United confirmed on Wednesday the mega-money flop would leave the club for nothing again this summer – over a decade after he first left United as a youngster.
With Pogba’s official departure confirmed by both the player and Manchester United, a new report from The Athletic has claimed some insider details on one of the many big issues that have plagued Pogba during his massively underwhelming second Premier League spell.
The incident in question related to his apparent falling out with Mourinho in autumn 2018, when the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss ruled that the midfielder – who was United’s “second captain” – would no longer be considered a deputy to club captain Antonio Valencia .
After Mourinho ordered Pogba – who was injured – to stay away from Carrington, he is said to have ‘strategically positioned’ the midfielder as someone looking to leave the club. Referring to Pogba, Mourinho is reported to have told the United squad: ‘Remember who I am. Ask the Chelsea boys – Nemanja [Matic]Juan [Mata] – You know the real me. Players can’t be captains if they want to leave.”
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But unbeknownst to Mourinho, the 29-year-old was kept in the loop by some of his United team-mates, who shared details of the betrayal on WhatsApp. Pogba was later officially informed in a team meeting with his team-mates that he would no longer be considered for the United captaincy.
Bankruptcy between the two simmered until Mourinho finally got the boot from United in December 2018, but Pogba’s fortunes didn’t improve much under Portuguese successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, despite seemingly having a better relationship with the Norwegian.
Speculations about Pogba’s future have been rife in recent months with a host of Europe’s top clubs courting the midfielder when his contract expired. Juventus – Pogba’s former club – are the favorites to sign the midfielder, who posted a farewell message to United fans on his Instagram account.
Pogba wrote on Instagram: “I feel privileged to have played for this club. Lots of good moments and memories, but above all the unconditional support of the fans. Thank you Manchester United.”