Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba in post-match bust-up after Manchester United's draw with struggling Southampton

The Portuguese criticised the club's record signing in front of his teammates, accusing him of disrespecting those around him

Ed Malyon
Sports Editor
Sunday 02 December 2018 10:47 GMT
Mourinho and Pogba return to training ground

Jose Mourinho gave Paul Pogba a dressing-down in front of the rest of the Manchester United squad, questioning the midfielder's commitment to the team after the Red Devils slipped up yet again to draw with struggling Southampton, The Independent understands.

United recovered from 2-0 down at St Mary's to snatch a point but they remain some 16 points behind crosstown rivals Manchester City approaching the halfway point of the season.

Pogba was keen to leave the club earlier this year after feeling Mourinho wasn't making the best of his abilities and he publicly criticised the manager's playing style. In return, the World Cup winner was stripped of the vice-captaincy that Mourinho had handed him and banned from speaking to the press in the post-match mixed zones.

Mourinho lamented the lack of 'mad dogs' in his team after the disappointing result on the south coast and then set about criticising his best-paid player in rabid fashion, sources have told The Independent. The Portuguese criticised not just Pogba's performances but his commitment, suggesting the midfielder didn't care about his colleagues.

Pogba's display on Saturday was undeniably sloppy and as well as receiving some heat from Mourinho he came under fire from pundits on BT Sport's live coverage of the game as well as BBC's Match of the Day highlights show on Saturday night. The France midfielder was played in a more advanced role than usual but seemed off the pace as United were eventually bailed out by Marcus Rashford.

Mourinho, however, chose to make an example of Pogba in front of the entire United squad, all to a backdrop of near silence at St Mary's.

United were poor against Southampton on Saturday (Action Images via Reuters)
United were poor against Southampton on Saturday (Action Images via Reuters) (Reuters)

Pogba's attitude and display against Southampton is seen as the latest in a pattern of behaviour that is cause for concern at a club that invested a record fee and enormous wages in him. The Frenchman's off-field activities are increasingly coming under the microscope and it is suspected that the 25-year-old midfielder's behaviour is being driven by his agent, Mino Raiola.

While the United hierarchy have been firm in their stance that they do not want to sell their biggest-ever buy, the worsening relationship between star player and manager is a concern. Raiola, it would appear, is gambling on the club pushing out Mourinho over Pogba as results and the general feeling around the team continue to deteriorate.

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