Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has taken another dig at French World Cup winning star, Paul Pogba. The pair fell out despite an initial bromance between them after the Portuguese tactician engineered a move for the versatile midfield star, Mino Raiola was rumored to have offered Pogba to next door neighbors Manchester City and that opened a flurry of heist between the duo.
Mourinho’s toxic relationship with Pogba was one of the factors behind United’s decision to axe the 56-year-old manager and replace him with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before Christmas.
Jose Mourinho has aimed a veiled dig at Paul Pogba and admitted that he risked being sacked over his fallout with the Manchester United star.
It came to a head in September when Mourinho stripped Pogba of the vice-captaincy and clashed with him on the training ground in front of television cameras.
Reporters revealed at the time that Mourinho had become exasperated by Pogba’s behaviour, including an incident at Burnley in early September when Pogba left Turf Moor in his chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce instead of travelling back to Manchester on the team bus.
Mourinho elaborated on the story in a coaching seminar in Portugal on Monday, describing Pogba mockingly as ‘His Excellency’ and admitting that he risked being sent ‘on vacation’ if he handled the player the wrong way.
‘We would play a team that was 30 kilometres from Manchester and a player asked me if after the game he could return to Manchester without the team and go on his own,’ Mourinho recounted.
‘I told him: “If we went to London and you wanted to stay there, that would be one thing. But this is close, it doesn’t make sense”.
‘The guy was upset. But then we won the game and he asked me again. Because I was happy, I gave in a little and said: “At least leave on the bus and ask your chauffeur to catch up with you 10 minutes from the stadium, then go as you wish”.
‘And this guy in the locker-room still wasn’t happy. I went to the press conference and when I arrived at the team bus, parked beside it was a Rolls-Royce with his chauffeur.’
‘After all, the car was new and His Excellency would like to leave the stadium in his Rolls-Royce.
‘Now how do we deal with this? You (tell him) never go in the Rolls? You can go when I’m happy? Or you solve this thing in another way to get me “on vacation”.’
Pogba’s improved form since Mourinho was sacked has contributed to United’s resurgence under Solskjaer.
However, the new United boss confirmed earlier this week that he has spoken to the 26-year-old midfielder over recent comments that it would be ‘a dream’ to play for Real Madrid.