'Don't say bull****' - Jose Mourinho's blistering attack on the media over Paul Pogba reports
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has launched a scathing attacking on the media over their coverage of Paul Pogba in recent days and rejected reports his club record signing could be sold this summer.
Pogba was dropped by Mourinho for United's home game against Huddersfield earlier this month and substituted during recent defeats against Tottenham and Newcastle, sparking rumours over the Frenchman's future at the club.
Yet Mourinho has hit back at those rumours in the strongest manner possible, as he chastised the reporting of Pogba and gave the media a dressing down in his latest press conference.
"I think you are nice with your words because when you say a lot of speculation you should say a lot of lies because I accept and can speak on Paul's behalf without any kind of problem," stated Mourinho.
"Paul accepts he has not been playing well, but that's all and if you want to speak about it that's one thing and speculation your words makes a little bit of sense but the majority of things you can read and listen, don't be polite, be objective and say lies.
"I don't have to speak with you about my conversations with my players, is my problem, the player's problem, a big lie that our relation is not good, that we don't communicate, that we don't agree with his positions and his involvement in the dynamic of the team so be objective and say what we all know.
"In the last couple of matches he didn't play well period, end of story, now it's my problem and Paul's to improve his performance level, you don't need to be a liar."
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Mourinho then entered the debate on where Pogba's best position might be, with Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville among those commenting on the issue in recent days.
"We have here a number here the biggest pundit industry because there are hundreds of them with great background and knowledge in football and I would like somebody to tell me which position you think Pogba played in against Newcastle," he continued.
"Any one of you want to tell me. Okay midfield, but we played with one number six and numbers eights, or two six and one 10, we play with one six and two eights, we play with (Nemaja) Matic as a six, (Jesse) Lingard on the right side of Matic and Pogba on the left side, you know which is the Pogba preferred system? 4-3-3?
"Do you know Pogba's favourite position in 4-3-3. Eight on the left, so it's easy and honest and objective to say Paul didn't play well against Newcastle, but don't let people read things that are not true. You are paid to read the game and explain the game, don't say bull****."
Mourinho went on to suggest Pogba's fitness issues from last season are still affecting him now, as he rejected any suggestion the midfielder United signed for £89m in the summer of 2016 could be sold.
"He had a big injury in the season, big injury, he had a big injury, he almost went to surgery," he added. "The decision was not to do it and go to a conservative treatment, everyone really happy, he was playing phenomenal after that and before that, he had a red card against Arsenal probably in his best match and the team’s best moment.
"He was out for a long long time and in this moment he is not playing well, period, and the team needs him at a good level, when he is not a good level the team is not as good.
"It happens with every team when the most crucial players are not performing. You don't need to come with we want to sell him, you don't need that, some people go in that direction, some of them I know for many many years and I know their surname is liar, and that's not nice."
Mourinho confirmed Pogba would start Saturday's FA Cup fifth round clash against Huddersfield, with this story set to run and run.