Saturday 15 December 2018

Paul Pogba to fight for Manchester United future despite reports suggesting he 'regrets' move to Old Trafford

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

James Ducker

Paul Pogba is committed to working through any differences of opinion with Jose Mourinho, despite claims in France that he harbours some "regrets" about joining Manchester United over Real Madrid.

Pogba has been substituted in the second half of United's past two away games against Tottenham and Newcastle and was dropped to the bench for the 2-0 win at home to Huddersfield Town this month.

It is the first sign of any tensions between Pogba – who returned to United for a then world record £89 million fee in 2016 – and Mourinho, under whom the Frenchman had previously appeared indispensable.

Reports in L'Equipe, the French sports newspaper, claimed Pogba has become increasingly disillusioned about his deployment as a deep lying midfielder to the extent that he has wondered if he made the right decision joining United over Real, who also wanted him.

Other reports have suggested Pogba wants to play on the left of a midfield three in a 4-3-3 formation in which he thrived at Juventus, rather than the midfield two usually favoured by Mourinho, and that his ego has been bruised by the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal last month.

It is understood Pogba does believe his best position is on the left of a midfield three and Mourinho has been disappointed by the player's recent displays, but while the pair have not seen eye to eye of late, there has been no suggestion of a full scale breakdown in relations. Mourinho still considers Pogba to be integral to United's prospects of future success.

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Mino Raiola, Pogba's agent, said he was baffled to be asked about the matter on Thursday when contacted by Telegraph Sport and directed any queries in United's direction.

Yet Paul Ince, the former United midfielder, believes there could be troubles ahead. "If what's being said about Pogba is true, that he regrets joining United, then I'd be disappointed, but not surprised," Ince told Paddy Power News. "I can understand why Pogba might feel irritated with the position Mourinho currently has him playing in.

"He likes to roam, he likes to attack. He wasn't signed to be a holding midfield player and that's clearly not what he enjoys or is best at. So why does he insist on playing him there?

"Alexis Sanchez wants to be on the ball and wants to be part of the action. You can't have both him and Pogba roaming across the pitch, because then you'll lose the shape of your team.

"The signals that are coming from Pogba is that he's not happy and if he doesn't feel like he fits in, then I could see him leaving in the summer."

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