Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has angrily insisted that rumours that his relationship with Paul Pogba has broken down are “lies”.
According to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, midfielder Pogba is unhappy with the more defensive position in which he has been used by Mourinho.
Pogba, who rejoined United from Juventus for £89.3 million ($ 123.5 million, 100.5 million euros) in August 2016, has struggled for form in recent weeks and Mourinho has substituted the 24-year-old in two of the Red Devils’ last three matches.
Other reports said the arrival of Alexis Sanchez has also unsettled the Frenchman.
But an irate Mourinho dismissed suggestions there was any issue between him and the France international.
“I think you are nice with your words, because when you say ‘a lot of speculation’ you should say ‘a lot of lies’,” Mourinho told reporters on Friday.
“I accept and I can speak on Paul’s behalf without any kind of problem. Paul accepts that he has not been playing well in the last few matches but that’s all.
“And if you want to speak about it, then that is one thing and your word ‘speculation’ maybe makes a bit of sense.
“But the majority of things you can read and listen, don’t be nice, be objective and say ‘lies’.
“I don’t have to speak with you about my conversations with my players. I don’t have to tell you anything about it,” the Portuguese boss added.
“It’s my problem, it’s the player’s problem. It’s a big lie that the relationship is not good, a big lie that we don’t communicate, a big lie that we don’t agree with his positions and his involvement in the dynamics of the team.”
Mourinho admitted that in the last two matches Pogba “did not play well”.
“Now it is my problem and Paul’s problem to deal with it and to try to improve his performance levels.”
United face Huddersfield in the last 16 of the FA Cup on Saturday.