Manchester United have no intention of selling Paul Pogba in the January transfer window despite the club’s record £89million signing falling out of favour with manager, Jose Mourinho.
Pogba has been dropped for the last two games and was left on the bench during Saturday’s 4-1 win over Fulham when Mourinho chose to use Fred and Scott McTominay as midfield substitutes instead.
The United boss said Pogba will start today’s final Champions League Group H game against Valencia in Spain as one of a number of changes to the line-up.
However, the fact that he is making his return in a weakened team – with United already through to the knockout stages – emphasises Pogba’s fall from grace since winning the World Cup with France in the summer.
He is unlikely to keep his place for Sunday’s Premier League game at Liverpool.
It was surprising to hear Mourinho refer to the 25-year-old world champion as having ‘the potential to be a fantastic player’ at the weekend, and even more so when Pogba was on Monday named as the only United representative on UEFA’s 50-man shortlist for their team of the year.
Having stripped him of the vice-captaincy in September, Mourinho is said to have grown tired of Pogba’s inability to adapt to his system and follow instructions.
It is understood that Pogba was uppermost in Mourinho’s mind when he accused a number of players of being responsible for ‘a virus’ at the club before the draw at Southampton 10 days ago.
The midfielder has made no secret of his desire to leave United just two-and-a-half years after rejoining the club from Juventus for a then world-record fee.