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Mour' trouble for Pogba

Berbatov calls on United midfielder and boss to patch up their differences after latest row

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Former Red Devils striker Dimitar Berbatov says United manager Jose Mourinho and midfielder Paul Pogba should sort out their differences in private

Former Red Devils striker Dimitar Berbatov says United manager Jose Mourinho and midfielder Paul Pogba should sort out their differences in private

Former Red Devils striker Dimitar Berbatov says United manager Jose Mourinho and midfielder Paul Pogba should sort out their differences in private

Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba should resolve their differences in private and not through the media, according to former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

The relationship between the United boss and his most expensive player has become increasingly strained in recent days.

Pogba, who reportedly wants to leave Old Trafford and join Barcelona, said after Saturday's home draw with Wolves that United should "attack, attack, attack", leading to Mourinho stripping the midfielder of the vice-captaincy.

Mourinho denied any fall-out with Pogba but footage has emerged of a tense-looking discussion between the pair at training yesterday, the morning after United's League Cup exit at the hands of Frank Lampard's Derby County.

Exasperated

The 25-year-old shook hands with coach Michael Carrick and another United employee, before looking taken aback by something Mourinho said.

Pogba was then seen having an apparently exasperated discussion with the manager.

Berbatov, a striker at Old Trafford between 2008 and 2012, said: "If you are a captain or vice-captain, you're more often than not speaking on behalf of the players, and there is nothing wrong with giving the manager your thoughts.

"But this shouldn't be done in the media - it helps nobody for these arguments to be played out in public. Apart from the media themselves of course.

"In modern football, players are very powerful, they are the stars of the show. It's normal for them to have opinions, but they need to be backed up.

"I'm really surprised it has got to this stage. This sort of thing really needs to be kept in-house. You're all grown-ups, figure it out in the dressing room.

"For Mourinho to have gone as far as removing the vice captaincy, Pogba must have provoked him - whether it was the comments after the Wolves game or something else. But these arguments affect everybody else and start having an impact on the pitch.

"As someone who wants Manchester United to do well, I'm fed up of waking up and seeing these headlines. Football should be about what happens on the pitch, not who has the biggest d***. It's a stupid situation."

Sources close to the club have not been surprised by the latest development, which will only increase speculation as to whether Pogba will stay at Old Trafford.

The France international captained the side in the Premier League openers against Leicester and Brighton in the absence of Antonio Valencia, just as he did in last week's Champions League win at Young Boys.

Pogba scored two and set up the other in the 3-0 victory in Switzerland, only to under-perform on Saturday's return to league action against Wolves.

The 25-year-old was dispossessed in the move that led to Joao Moutinho's equaliser, with the midfielder saying afterwards that United should "attack, attack, attack".

Those comments are said to have got under Mourinho's skin, but it is reported that Pogba's desire to leave Old Trafford for Barcelona was behind the decision to strip him of the vice-captaincy.

Contrast

The pair's strained relationship is in stark contrast to the one between the Portuguese and Frank Lampard during their successful time together at Chelsea.

"He said what a great performance it was from the team," the Derby boss said of Mourinho.

"I appreciate that because it's not easy in defeat in that last moment. I think he actually said that before the penalties, but I appreciate it."

United paid for their failure to build on Juan Mata's early opener on Tuesday, with Harry Wilson scoring an exceptional free-kick and substitute Jack Marriott directing home.

Marouane Fellaini's stoppage-time goal secured a 2-2 draw that took the third-round tie to penalties, with the spot-kick success giving Lampard the most memorable win of his short managerial career.


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