It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for Paul Pogba.
Manchester United’s star midfielder, who returned to Old Trafford for a world record fee in the summer of 2016 following four years with Juventus, was poor against Tottenham at Wembley at the end of January.
Substituted after just 63 minutes, the Frenchman found himself on the bench for the home match against Huddersfield Town three days later.
He returned to the starting line-up for last weekend’s match against Newcastle United but, once again, he flattered to deceive and was subbed off just after the hour-mark by Jose Mourinho.
It’s since been reported that the relationship between Mourinho and Pogba has deteriorated in recent weeks.
Pogba is reportedly unhappy that Mourinho is continuing to ask him to play in a midfield two alongside Nemanja Matic - he flourished at Juve while playing on the left-hand side of a midfield three - and Real Madrid are said to be interested in taking him to the Bernabeu.
Mourinho dismisses rumours about Pogba
Mourinho, however, dismissed suggestions that he’s not seeing eye-to-eye with Pogba during his press conference on Friday.
"I think you are nice with your words because when you say a lot of speculation, you should say a lot of lies,” the Portuguese coach is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "I can speak on Paul's behalf without any kind of problem. He accepts he's not been playing well in the last few matches, but that's all.
"It's a big lie that our relationship is not good. It's a big lie that we don't communicate. It's a big lie that we don't agree with his position and his dynamic within the team.
"The team needs him at a good level and when he isn't the team is not as good. So be objective and say what we all know - in the last couple of matches he didn't play well. Period.
"The majority of the things you can read and listen to - don't be nice, be objective and say lies."
Mail: Mourinho had one-hour meeting with Pogba this week
The Daily Mail have now reported that Mourinho held clear-the-air talks with Pogba for an hour in his office at United’s training headquarters earlier this week.
They add that Pogba emerged from the meeting ‘stony-faced’ after discussions about his form and best position.
Pogba's 'nose put out of joint' by Man Utd teammate
The Mail have also been informed by United sources - and this is interesting - that Pogba’s ‘nose has been put out of joint’ by the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.
Is he jealous that Sanchez is earning more money than him? Envious that he’s not the centre of attention? Was he after United’s prestigious No. 7 shirt?
Who knows why Pogba would feel that way about Sanchez’s arrival but it’s all a bit bizarre.
One thing’s for sure: if there is ill-feeling between Pogba and Sanchez, Mourinho will need to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
Failure to do so could see United end the season on a very disappointing note.
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