Paul Pogba will play for Manchester United at West Ham today but manager Jose Mourinho says “no player is bigger than the club”.A clip of midfielder Pogba and Mourinho having a tense exchange on the training ground emerged on Wednesday.
Mourinho said they have a good relationship, despite telling the 25-year-old France international he will not captain the team again.“Tomorrow he plays. He is a player like the others,” said Mourinho yesterday.
“No player is bigger than the club. If I am happy with his work he plays, if I am not he doesn’t play. I am really happy with his work this week. He trained really well. The team needs good players. He is a good player.”
Asked if this week’s events could have an impact on United’s reputation, he replied: “Manchester United is bigger than anyone. I have to defend that.”The Portuguese was commenting for the first time since pictures emerged of a dispute between the pair at the Premier League club’s Carrington training complex.
That came a day after Mourinho told Pogba he is no longer United’s vice-captain.“I explained in detail to the people that have to know, which is the squad and especially Paul,” he said.“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.”
When it was suggested at yesterday’s news conference that he did not need to rebuke his £89m record signing in front of the cameras, which were present for the training session, Mourinho said: “I don’t care about the cameras. What confrontation? It’s not a confrontation.”
He added: “Nobody trained better than Paul on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Some trained as well as, nobody better.”
Wednesday’s exchange took place after Mourinho was told a social media post had been uploaded by Pogba in which he was laughing and joking with team-mate Andreas Pereira shortly after the end of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup penalty shootout defeat by Derby.The United manager summoned Pogba to him as the pair made their way onto the training pitch and made a press officer explain the allegation.