Jose Mourinho says he has "never been so happy" with Paul Pogba and the midfielder will stay as captain against Brighton and Hove Albion, despite his comments suggesting he is unsettled at Manchester United.
Pogba caused a stir following his man-of-the-match performance in last Friday's win over Leicester City, when he said he would always strive to perform for fans and team-mates but also claimed: "There are things I can say and there are things I cannot say... otherwise I will get fined."
The comments appeared to suggest disharmony at United, with the player and Mourinho reported to have a difficult relationship stemming from last season, when Pogba was dropped for key games against Liverpool and Sevilla.
Mourinho, though, insists he is delighted with the France star's efforts in training and has again hit out at reports he has ever argued with the former Juventus man.
"The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks and I've never been so happy with him as I am now. That's the truth," he said ahead of the clash with Brighton.
"I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him. He comes here on Monday [before the Leicester game], he trains for three days, I asked for his support, for his contribution in an important match for us when the team had difficulties, and he did it did better and for more time than we could expect.
"When he says he did it for the fans and for the team, it's exactly what I want, exactly what I demand from my players. He is working well, playing well, he does [it] for the fans, for the team, and that's what I want. I repeat, I couldn't be happier than I am."
Asked what he thought about Pogba's remarks after the 2-1 win over Leicester, Mourinho replied: "I don't care. I want him to play well, to play for the team, for the fans and that's what he did. He is working extremely well.
"I have to say, in his defence, write what you want about him, about me, [but] please don't say lies, please don't put him in a situation where people can think he is not a polite, educated guy, which he is.
"He is very polite, very educated, never had a fight with me. We never had a hard exchange of words. I have no problems at all."
Pressed further on what Pogba meant when he suggested he could be fined, Mourinho said the only player to receive such punishment in his time at Old Trafford is Anthony Martial, who is said to have angered his manager when he failed to return promptly to this year's pre-season tour of the United States following the birth of his second child.
"You have to ask Paul [what he meant]," said Mourinho. "I'm here for two years and a couple of months and the only player that was fined was Anthony Martial, so it is not easy to be fined here.
"I want him to work the way he is doing and play the way he is doing and that's all that matters."
Mourinho added that he expected another good display from Pogba against Brighton but stressed that a player he sees as future club captain "has the right to a bad match".
"I am very confident but if he doesn't [play well], that's football," he said.
"He has the right to a bad match. Everybody has a bad day, everybody goes up and down in performance level.
"Is he captain? No, the captain is [Antonio] Valencia. He was my choice, which was a process that started last season.
"We thought [about Pogba]: he's a young guy, good personality, made in the academy, normally a starting player, he has conditions to be a captain in future. I don't think Antonio will play in the next match so [Pogba] will be captain again."
22 de abril 2019
|Pakistan announce Shadab Khan treatment plans|
|Coman and Gnabry impressing Bayern Munich boss Kovac|
|Khan will not retire on Crawford loss|
|Pavard: Bayern signed me because I am one of the best|
|Eels open new home by thumping tame Tigers|
|Folau´s Rugby Australia hearing set for May 4|
|Henderson urges Liverpool to ´keep believing´ in title race|
|McCollum driven by past Blazers failure|
|Hertha confirm broken ankle for rumoured Bayern target Stark|
|Young promises United response in Manchester derby|
|Mbappe won´t leave PSG, insists Tuchel|
|Warriors and Trail Blazers extend leads, Celtics reach Conference semis|
|Red Sox, Yankees claim extra-inning wins to continue turnarounds|
|Matic: Man United didn´t have leaders against Everton|
|Tuchel calls for Champions League patience after Ligue 1 glory|
|MLS Review: Vela leads LAFC rout, New York end winless start|
|Kerr backs Warriors star Curry to bounce back quickly|
|76ers star Butler, Nets´ Dudley fined after playoff clash|
|We always feel the same happiness – Al-Khelaifi revels in PSG´s Ligue 1 success|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19: More goals and tighter at the back – the numbers behind Tuchel´s triump|
|Warriors´ Thompson says he ended slump by jumping in ocean|
|Maiden winner Pan claims RBC Heritage as Johnson capitulates|
|We cannot influence Manchester derby, neither can United – Klopp trolls Solskjaer´s men|
|Stevens proud of Celtics for keeping foot on the accelerator to sweep Pacers|
|DeRozan fined $25k for throwing ball at referee|
|Garcia and Mladenovic put past feud behind them to send France into Fed Cup final|
21 de abril 2019
|I am sure to stay at PSG – Mbappe insists he is not Real Madrid-bound|
|Special Foden has something that´s difficult to find – Guardiola|
|Sarri: Chelsea´s League Cup run on par with Tottenham´s heroics|
|Munster condemn pitch invader who confronted Vunipola|
|NHL awards 2019: Brent Burns, Mark Giordano, Victor Hedman named Norris Trophy finalists|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Monaco 1: Mbappe leads title celebrations with hat-trick as Neymar returns|
|Celtics sweep Pacers to advance to semi-finals|
|Neymar makes return from injury as substitute against Monaco|
|Words mean little – De Gea apologetic for disastrous Manchester United performance|
|PSG in Notre Dame jersey tribute against Monaco|
|Benzema the world´s best striker – Zidane|
|Patel the hero as Challengers survive Dhoni´s devastating display|
|Injured PAOK captain comes off bench to celebrate club´s first title in 34 years|
|It is in our hands – Emery confident on Arsenal´s Champions League hopes|
|Liverpool prove to be a cut above Cardiff thanks to Klopp´s pitch-perfect plan|
|Neymar back on the bench for PSG´s clash with Monaco|
|Ringrose: ´Incredible´ Saracens awaiting Leinster in final|
|Hodgson prepared to fight to keep Zaha at Crystal Palace|
|All we can do is keep the pressure on Man City, admits Milner|
|This is my home – Marcelo wants Real Madrid stay|
|Cardiff City 0 Liverpool 2: Resilient Reds return to the Premier League summit|
|Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 3: Zaha on target as Gunners slip up in top four race|
|Solskjaer: I´ll be successful at Man United... some of these players won´t be|
|Man United were rancid – Neville furious after ´embarrassing´ Everton defeat|
|Silva: Everton better team from first minute|
|Leinster set up Saracens showdown after proving too strong for Toulouse|
|Real Madrid 3 Athletic Bilbao 0: Hat-trick hero Benzema scores for fifth game in a row to seal victo|
|Damned United? The astounding stats as Red Devils hit 38-year low at Everton|
|Everything went wrong – Solskjaer apologises for Man Utd´s Everton horror show|
|Freiburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 4: BVB keep pace with Bayern|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19: Mbappe´s continued rise shows Neymar is now disposable|
|Fognini follows up Nadal win by clinching first Masters title|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2018-19: How dominant title win compares to previous QSI years|
|BREAKING NEWS: PSG retain Ligue 1 title thanks to Lille draw|
|Everton 4 Manchester United 0: Toffees score biggest Premier League win over sorry Red Devils|
|Warner and Bairstow dominate again as Sunrisers thrash KKR|
|Colts owner Jim Irsay buys John Lennon´s ´Sgt. Pepper´ piano|
|People are having a free shot - Seibold defends young Broncos|
|Zidane must make Real Madrid hungry again - Seedorf|
|Young dropped as Solskjaer makes three changes for Everton clash|
|Lemar hopeful Griezmann stays at Atletico|
|Khan refutes Crawford´s accusations of quitting after low blow|
|Deciding doubles triumph sends Australia into Fed Cup final|
|Pakistan call up Yasir with Shadab laid low by virus|