Paul Pogba may seek showdown meeting with Jose Mourinho
Midfielder shocked at being dropped from starting XI for the past two games
Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini during a training session ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League game against Valencia in Spain. photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
The relationship between the midfielder and his manager has been rocky since the start of the season. Yet despite Mourinho having terse words for Pogba privately and publicly, the France international did not expect to be left out of the XI.
Pogba did not start the 1-0 victory over Young Boys in the Champions League last month either, coming on as a second-half replacement.
He was reinstated for the 2-2 draw at Southampton in the following match but was particularly disappointing. Mourinho afterwards indicated Pogba was one of his players who lacked a “mad dog” spirit and has not started him since.
Pogba made a 15-minute appearance against Arsenal but was left on the bench last weekend against Fulham, the inexperienced Scott McTominay being preferred as a replacement midfielder.
Pogba has decided to keep his counsel and train as normal but he may seek to speak to Mourinho if the manager continues to exclude him.
Mourinho is content with Eric Bailly, having spoken with the central defender on Monday to assure him of this. Bailly’s start against Arsenal was a first appearance for two months, having fallen out of favour. Yet despite playing well the Ivorian was left out against Fulham. Mourinho, though, informed Bailly this was merely to rest him and that if he shows patience more regular football will come.
It is understood Mourinho is considering starting Bailly in Wednesday’s final Champions League group game at Valencia. United have already qualified for the knock-out stage.
The Valencia manager, Marcelino, worked with Bailly at Villarreal. He said: “I wish nothing but the best for him and I feel his youth will help him through these hard times and he will be very important for United.” – Guardian