Manchester United reportedly have no intention of selling Paul Pogba in January, despite the club’s record signing falling out of favour with Jose Mourinho.
Pogba has been dropped to the bench for the last two games and did not even get on the pitch in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Fulham, when Mourinho chose to use Fred and Scott McTominay as midfield substitutes instead.
The Red Devils boss has confirmed, however, that Pogba will start Wednesday’s final Champions League Group H game in Valencia as one of a number of changes to the line-up.
However, the mere fact that he is making his return in a weakened side – with United already booking their spot in the knockout stages – emphasises the 25-year-old’s fall from grace since winning the World Cup over the summer.
In fact it appears almost certain that he will not keep his place for Sunday’s huge Premier League game at bitter rivals Liverpool.
Despite that, Mourinho still claimed that the midfielder has ‘the potential to be a fantastic player’ at the weekend, while Pogba was, on Monday, named as the only United representative on UEFA’s 50-man shortlist for their Team of the Year.
Having already stripped Pogba of the vice-captaincy this season, it is also understood that the player was uppermost in Mourinho’s mind when he accused a number of United players of being responsible for ‘a virus’ at the club before the recent 2-2 draw at Southampton.
The former Juventus star has made no secret of his desire to quit Old Trafford, just two-and-a-half years after rejoining the club from Juve for a then world-record fee of £89million.
The reigning Serie A champions are known to be interested in taking him back if the opportunity arises, although it is reported that Pogba would prefer to sign for Catalan giants Barcelona instead.
However, the report in the Daily Mail claims that United’s hierarchy will turn down any offers next month.
They still see Pogba as a key man for the club going forward and are not keen on sending out a message that they are ready to ditch their marquee players – a move which is more likely to put the pressure back on Mourinho’s tenure as United boss than it does on Pogba’s long-term Old Trafford future.
Meanwhile, United are reportedly on the brink of announcing that a deal has been agreed to bring teenage forward Noam Emeran to Old Trafford in January. Read the full story here…
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