Jose Mourinho has rejected reports of a rift between him and Paul Pogba at Manchester United.
Manager and player seem to be at odds now more than ever at Old Trafford, clashing during training in midweek.
Mourinho even stripped Pogba of his vice-captaincy before the Carabao Cup defeat to Derby, and has even started to punish players apparently close to him.
Four individuals have started to distance themselves from the midfielder, and Pogba was obviously at the top of Mourinho’s agenda during his Friday press conference.
“Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that,” he said.
“I explained in detailed to the people that have to know, which is the squad and especially Paul,” Mourinho said of the meeting in which he removed him as “the second captain”.
“So, Paul and the other players in the squad, they know in detail the reason why myself and my coaching staff decided to do that.
“I always analyse a player as a player. When a player is captain, I analyse the player by the player perspective but also by the captain perspective.
“And after weeks of analysing and changing opinions with my coaching staff, we made the decision that from now Paul is just a player and not a captain.
“So, decision made, I informed obviously the player and the players and then when I was asked I think before the match on Tuesday, I confirm and now I confirm, and now end of the story.
“And I can anticipate more questions by saying that the relation of player-manager is good, it’s not anymore a relation (of) captain or one of the captains and manager. It’s just a relation player-manager, it’s good.”