Wednesday 12 December 2018

Latest reports on Paul Pogba add to the mystery over his FA Cup absence

Jose Mourinho has strongly denied he has fallen out with Paul Pogba
Jose Mourinho has strongly denied he has fallen out with Paul Pogba
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Paul Pogba is reported to have taken part in a full training session at Manchester United's Carrington training base on Sunday, 24 hours after he informed the club's medical staff that he was unable to play in the club's FA Cup fifth round tie at Huddersfield.

Widespread reports in the English media have claimed Pogba was present at the club's training base on Sunday morning, as he appeared to make a quick recovery from the sickness that ruled him out of the club's latest fixture.

United manager Jose Mourinho suggested he "didn't know and didn't care" about the nature of Pogba's illness, with his absence coming on the back of a week of rumours suggesting the Frenchman was unhappy at the club.

Mourinho hit back at those reports in a passionate press conference on Friday, with his post match comments confirming he was surprised by Pogba's absence.

"He was working normally with us before the game," said the United manager. "We prepared for the game, we gave the last touches in the tactical play, we gave the last touches on the set-plays and I told the players the team.

"He was in the team but this morning he was not feeling right to play. Then I have to prepare a new team. So he’s ill and now we have to wait to see what is going on."

Mourinho even revealed where Pogba would play, as he responded to suggestions that his £89m club record signing is playing out of his favoured position on the left side of a midfield three.

"Just as curiosity, it was Michael Carrick who replaced Paul," he added. "Paul was going to play on the left side as a No 8 in a 4-3-3. Then when the doctor told me Paul was not feeling good to play. We moved (Nemanja) Matic to the left which is not his favourite position and Michael to his traditional No.6."

The nature of Pogba's illness has yet to be confirmed by United, with Mourinho's suggestion that the players 'didn't feel good enough to play' adding fuel to rumours that he was suffering with mental as well as physical fatigue.

Pogba's presence at United's training ground on Sunday suggests he is in line to make a rapid return to Mourinho's set-up, with the squad set to travel to Spain on Tuesday for their Champions League last-16 clash against Sevilla.

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