Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has warned midfielder Paul Pogba that no player is bigger than the club.
His comments follow a tumultuous week in the pair’s relationship which saw Mourinho inform Pogba he will never captain the side again under him after the French midfielder criticised his tactics in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Wolves.
The pair were seen having a disagreement in front of television cameras at training on Wednesday when Mourinho appeared to take issue with an Instagram post from Pogba during the previous night’s disappointing Carabao Cup defeat by Derby County.
Speaking at his press conference on Friday, Mourinho said he felt compelled to act.
“Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that,” Mourinho said.
“After weeks of analysing and exchanging opinions with my coaching staff, we made the decision that from now Paul is just a player and not a captain.
“So, the decision is made.”
Despite the tension between the pair, Mourinho insisted their relationship has not broken down and confirmed Pogba is set to play against West Ham on Saturday.
“The relationship between player and manager is good. It is not any more a relationship between captain – or one of the captains – and manager,” Mourinho said.
“Nobody trained better than Paul on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Some trained as well as him but nobody trained better than him and tomorrow he plays.
“No player is bigger than the club. If I am happy with his work, he plays. If I am not happy with his work he does not play. I am happy with his work this week, really happy.
“The team needs good players. He is a good player. The team needs players with the personality to play. He has [it].
“So he plays tomorrow.”
Mourinho was defiant when asked why he chose to confront Pogba when he knew there were cameras filming the training session.
“I don’t care about the cameras,” the United manager said.
“What confrontation? It was not a confrontation. Do you think it was a confrontation?
“What happened the other day, happens many days. Conversations with players, I have many, many times. It was not the case but loud critiques, loud instruction happens every day. Coaching is about that.”