Saturday, January 29, 2022
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Barcelona target instructed to stop talking to the media by Premier League giants

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French star claims that he has been barred from making any further comments to the press fraternity even as tensions between him and manager Jose Mourinho keep getting worse

Mourinho stripped Pogba of the vice-captaincy post last week, and even told the player that he would never again captain the club, apart from spending much of the season aiming thinly veiled digs at his record signing. The Frenchman has even reportedly revealed to Mourinho and the club that he intends on quitting next summer and that he favours a move to Barcelona.

The midfielder himself made things worse by questioning his manager’s tactics after the 1-1 draw with newly-promoted Wolves last weekend and has also made many comments to the press indicating that all is not well behind the scenes, not just between him and Mourinho but several players and the latter.

Things only seemed to have worsened after United were held to a tame 0-0 draw by Spanish side Valencia during Tuesday nights Champions League group stage clash at Old Trafford. And when Pogba, who started the game despite pre-match murmurs that he may be benched, was making his way to the tunnel after the game, he was asked to stop and talk to the press. He had this to say: “I’ve been told I’m not allowed.”

Club chiefs have been left alarmed at the rapid decline in the relationship between the player and manager, and this has been the backdrop of United making their worst start to a league season in 29 years. While the Portugese manager seems to have fallen out with many of his players, few have been made as public as the one with his World Cup-winning star with Pogba being linked with a move to Barcelona.

And training ground bust-up between the two happened in full public and paparazzi view last week, and United promptly lost to West Ham United for their third league defeat of the season. Post the game, Pogba was asked to give his comments, and he replied, “You want me dead?” This has led to some reports claiming that Mourinho’s future is unsure, and that he could be replaced this month itself.

Authors take

The toxic atmosphere at United has just been getting worse by the day, and with Mourinho seemingly burning bridges with so many players, the latest being his trusted lieutenant Antonio Valencia, his days seem numbered. Pogba too looks set to leave, even if he outlasts his manager to the summer. But for now, Mourinho needs to engineer a dramatic reversal in fortunes, what with key games against Chelsea and Juventus fast approaching.

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