Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba he will not captain Manchester United again as the relationship between the pair becomes increasingly strained, sources have told ESPN FC.
The move is designed to underline Mourinho’s authority at Old Trafford after a series of episodes involving the midfielder that have angered the United boss.
The news was delivered to Pogba and the rest of the players at United’s Carrington training ground on Tuesday, three days after the Frenchman appeared to blame the Portuguese coach for a lack of attacking football following the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday — a result which left United eight points behind leaders Liverpool after just six games.
Pogba, 25, has captained United three times this season when appointed club skipper Antonio Valencia has been absent.
Both Pogba and Valencia are set to miss the Carabao Cup tie with Derby County at Old Trafford on Tuesday night along with David De Gea and Luke Shaw.
Of the other players in the squad, Chris Smalling, Ander Herrera, Ashley Young and Nemanja Matic have taken the armband before.
Pogba caused controversy after the opening-day win over Leicester by suggesting he would be fined if he said what he wanted about his situation at United.
Following the 3-2 defeat to Brighton, he admitted his attitude had not been right and after the draw with Wolves questioned why United were unable to produce more attacking football at Old Trafford, while appearing to point the finger at Mourinho.
On Monday, however, Pogba hinted on Twitter that his comments had been misinterpreted to cause “drama.”
Sources have told ESPN FC the midfielder was open to a move away from the club in the summer amid interest from Barcelona.
He has indicated privately he will not look to force a transfer in January but will reassess his options at the end of the season. – ESPN