Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba he will not captain Manchester United again, after yet another climax between the two in an increasingly fractious relationship and season.
The Portuguese informed his star midfielder in front of the rest of his teammates at a squad meeting on 25 September.
Pogba had stood in for club captain Antonio Valencia three times this season, but that will not happen again, after Mourinho was angered by the player’s latest media comments following the 1-1 draw with Wolves.
Pogba appeared to criticise the manager’s approach, as he implied it would not be his decision to play so reticently at home.
That came after a number of coded comments from the French international since the country’s summer World Cup win. The 25-year-old even stating he would be fined if he revealed his true feelings after the opening win over Leicester City.
He has now been punished in a different way, and while this situation had previously been viewed at the club as almost a PR war between Mourinho and Pogba – with both seeming to say what they thought the fans wanted to hear – it is understood that this is one area where the manager now has the full backing of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Some among the Old Trafford hierarchy are now more openly muttering about how the problems Sir Alex Ferguson predicted when selling Pogba in 2012 have all come true, and many at the club are finding the Mino Raiola influence difficult.
United sources believe that the player has now had his head turned regardless of whether Mourinho is manager or not, and that he wants a move to Barcelona.
Either way, the manager felt he had to act and display authority, as Pogba has become increasingly outspoken.