Man United star Paul Pogba: players and managers ‘don’t have to be best friends’

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba last night spoke out over his relationship with Red Devils’ manager Jose Mourinho, amid rumours

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba last night spoke out over his relationship with Red Devils’ manager Jose Mourinho, amid rumours that he could be on the move this summer.

Return

In one of the most highly-publicised transfers of all time, French midfield maestro Pogba re-joined Manchester United in the summer of 2016, after making the move to Juventus as a free agent in 2012.

Pogba’s 105 million Euro fee was the highest of all-time upon the deal’s completion, with many having immediately questioned the decision of United to splash out such a hefty fee on the Frenchman’s signature.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 10: Paul Pogba (L) of Juventus celebrates his goal with Andrea Pirlo of Juventus during the match between the A-League All Stars and Juventus at ANZ Stadium on August 10, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

After a hit-and-miss debut season back in Manchester, Pogba started out the current campaign in scintillating fashion, finally looking as though he was set to flourish into the player that had been on show for Juventus for several seasons running.

However, a thigh injury picked up in September saw the gifted Frenchman ruled out for two months, with Pogba having since failed to string together a consistent run of dominant performances for Manchester United.

Blame game

Much of the blame for Pogba’s struggles has been placed on the shoulders of Red Devils’ manager Jose Mourinho, with a public touchline fall-out between the pair during United’s 2-0 loss at the hands of Tottenham in January having since seen the midfielder struggle for game-time for long stretches.

Relationship

As a result of his struggles on the pitch and difficult relationship with Mourinho off of it, Pogba has been heavily linked with a summer departure from Old Trafford, with Real Madrid and PSG the sides most persistently touted as potential destinations for the Frenchman.

But, speaking in an interview with French outlet Canal+ in the wake of Manchester United’s 1-0 FA Cup Final loss at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday night, Pogba was once again questioned on his relationship with Mourinho, with the 25-year-old adamant that despite the pair not being close off of the pitch, this season’s tough stretches under the Portuguese tactician helped him to ‘grow up as a leader’, once again insinuating that no ill will exists between both men:

‘There were times when I wasn’t playing. I was on the bench. Much has been spoken about.’

‘People thought it was wrong but a coach and player don’t have to be best friends.’

‘One is not forced to go to the restaurant together. I had some problems – it’s mental. He put me on the bench, I answered on the pitch, I give my maximum every time. It made me grow in leadership.’

‘I had the armband with Mourinho, it was the first time in a club. It’s important to me, it makes me grow up to be as a leader in the France team.’

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