Paul Pogba has added fuel to the fire of his rapidly disintegrating relationship with Jose Mourinho by turning down interviews in the wake of Manchester United’s latest defeat with a four-word reply: “You want me dead?”
A 3-1 loss at West Ham on Saturday means United have taken 10 points from their first seven games of the season, recording their joint worst start to a Premier League season, equalling the beginning of the ill-fated David Moyes era.
Pogba was replaced by Mourinho during the second half at the London Stadium to wrap up a week of controversy involving the pair, who were seemingly involved in a training ground confrontation on Wednesday.
That came after Mourinho’s men were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Frank Lampard’s Derby County at home and while the Portuguese denied a row with Pogba, he has stripped the France star of the vice-captaincy.
After a 2-1 home win against Leicester City on the first weekend of the season, Pogba indicated in post-match interviews that he could not speak his mind for fear of being fined by the club.
But Pogba did not hold back in his apparent criticism of United’s tactics in a tame draw against Wolves at Old Trafford, saying the team should “attack, attack, attack” at home in what was widely regarded as a barb at Mourinho’s gameplan.
Asked by reporters to stop in the post-match mixed zone, Pogba replied: “You want me dead?”
Pogba has been linked with a January move to Barcelona, while Juventus are also reportedly interested in buying the World Cup winner, who became football’s most expensive player when he left the Serie A giants to return to United in August 2016.
Mourinho’s long-term future at the club is also heavily in doubt, with reports suggesting former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is being lined up as his successor.