Monday 17 June 2019

Pogba on course to return as brother hits out at Mourinho

Paul Pogba’s brother has criticised Jose Mourinho (Martin Rickett/PA)
Paul Pogba’s brother has criticised Jose Mourinho (Martin Rickett/PA)

James Ducker

Paul Pogba is winning his race to be fit for Sunday's clash against Tottenham at Wembley as one of the Manchester United midfielder's brothers launched a scathing attack on former manager Jose Mourinho.

Pogba joined up with United's squad for their training camp in Dubai on Monday night after initially staying behind to receive treatment on an injury caused by Jonjo Shelvey's reckless challenge during the 2-0 win over Newcastle last Wednesday.

It forced Pogba to miss United's FA Cup victory over Reading but the Frenchman trained in Dubai yesterday and will be closely assessed over the coming days ahead of Sunday's showdown with Spurs, which will be the biggest test yet for interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a run of five successive wins following Mourinho's sacking.

Pogba has been revitalised under Solskjaer after the collapse in his relationship with Mourinho, which culminated in the Portuguese branding his record signing "a virus" in a dressing room tirade at Southampton last month and dropping him to the substitutes' bench for his final three league matches in charge.

And Pogba's brother, Mathias, who plays for Tours FC in the third tier of French football, blamed Mourinho entirely for his sibling's troubles.

"It was Mourinho who was the problem," Mathias told RMC Sport. "Mourinho still wants to be the centre of attention. The problem was Mourinho, right down the line.

"In the locker room, outside the locker room... everything, I know my brother, and you tell him, 'Go. Go play', the rest, he will do it.

"From what we see of Mourinho, he always wants to be the maestro, the centre of attention.

Respect

"Paul does not even calculate that aspect: you respect him, he will respect you, you trust him, he will produce big performances."

Meanwhile, United are to open a series of club-themed "entertainment and experience" centres across China in partnership with a leading property developer.

The first centres are due to open in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang and will involve interactive attractions and exhibitions that use the latest technology to replicate the thrill of a match-day at Old Trafford for their purported 100 million followers in China. Each centre will have a restaurant and official club retail store. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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