Jermain Defoe has revealed his private conversation with Paul Pogba in April

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Paul Pogba has spent plenty of time in the headlines recently.

Rumours have been rumbling on for months now that the Frenchman has a deteriorating relationship with manager Jose Mourinho and reports escalated to the point of an alleged bust-up last week.

Yet, through all of the controversy and gossip, Pogba was delivering superb performances for France at the World Cup and on the Premier League's opening weekend against Leicester City.

However, that impressive vein of form would stagnate upon the trip to Brighton & Hove Albion, which saw Pogba leave the pitch as the defeated captain in a 3-2 loss.

Not only that but his comments after the game caused considerable controversy and, once again, suggested that all wasn't well at Old Trafford.

Pogba in the spotlight

Speaking to Sky Sports in his post-match interview, he remarked: "We lost, we did not deserve to win. The attitude we had was not like we wanted to beat them, they had more hunger than us.

"I put myself first, my attitude wasn't right enough. We kept trying but, myself, I was losing a lot of balls."

Pogba may have thought he was being admirably honest, yet the truth is that his comments caused a stir online and made him a major talking point across social media.


Defoe's private chat with Pogba

He was also extensively discussed across Sky Sports programming when, earlier in the day, Defoe had spoken about him during an appearance on Goals on Sunday.

The Bournemouth striker revealed he had spoken privately with Pogba before a Cherries match against United last season and went as far as asking him about his form.

"It's funny, I spoke to Paul when they came down to Bournemouth," Defoe explained.

"He knows he needs to do more, he said to me 'I want to do more, it's not as easy as people think.'

"There's times where he struggled with his fitness and he's played in games not 100 per cent fit. But I think he's one of those characters where he knows he needs to do well, he's got the right attitude."

It really makes you feel for Pogba.

The Frenchman has been subject to unrivalled pressure and scrutiny in the press over the last year and the standards are now incredible high for him to meet.

It's clear the he cares greatly about his form, is putting in the work to elevate it but is also struggling in his mission to improve himself.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League

Anybody who plays for United is thrust into the spotlight and some great players have struggled at Old Trafford in the past when they have succeeded elsewhere.

Pogba has already achieved some incredible things at the 'Theatre of Dreams,' it's just his tantalising potential that sees the critics quick to circle.

Fans can only hope that this pressure and attention isn't wearing away at him mentally as Defoe's insight would suggest because, simply put, he is capable of so much.

Do you think the pressure is taking its toll on Pogba? Have your say in the comments section below.

Jose Mourinho
Paul Pogba
Premier League
Jermain Defoe
Manchester United

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