Jose Mourinho denied any falling-out with Paul Pogba after stripping him of the Manchester United vice-captaincy, but footage has emerged of a tense-looking discussion between the pair at training on Wednesday morning.
Pogba was rested by Mourinho for the shock Carabao Cup third-round exit against championship outfit Derby on Tuesday night and watched from the stands as United went down 8-7 on penalties after a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.
Afterwards Mourinho confirmed that Pogba was no longer a United vice-captain although he denied falling out with the World Cup-winning France midfielder.
Sky Sports showed footage of Pogba joining training with his team-mates on Wednesday morning, including a seemingly terse exchange between the pair.
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The 25-year-old shook hands with coach Michael Carrick and another United employee, before looking taken aback by something Mourinho said.
Pogba was then seen having an apparently exasperated discussion with the manager.
Despite being rested for the Derby clash, Pogba remained a hot topic as it was claimed in the build-up that Mourinho had told the World Cup winner that he would not captain United again in front of the squad.
Asked about those reports, Mourinho told Sky Sports: “The only truth is that I made the decision of Paul not to be the second captain any more but no fall-out, no problems at all.
“The same person that decides that Paul is not the second captain anymore is the same person who decides that Paul was the second captain. Myself. I am the manager, I can make these decisions.
“No fall-out at all, no problems at all, just one decision that I don’t have to explain.”
Sources close to the club have not been surprised by the latest development, which will only increase speculation as to whether Pogba will stay at Old Trafford.
The France international captained the side in the Premier League openers against Leicester and Brighton in the absence of Antonio Valencia, just as he did in last week’s Champions League win at Young Boys.
Pogba scored two and set up the other in the 3-0 victory in Switzerland, only to under-perform on Saturday’s return to league action against Wolves.
The 25-year-old was dispossessed in the move that led to Joao Moutinho’s equaliser, with the midfielder saying afterwards that United should “attack, attack, attack”.
Those comments are said to have got under Mourinho’s skin, but it is reported that Pogba’s desire to leave Old Trafford for Barcelona was behind the decision to strip him of the vice-captaincy.
The pair’s strained relationship is in stark contrast to the one between the Portuguese and Frank Lampard during their successful time together at Chelsea.