Jose Mourinho on Paul Pogba clash: Nobody bigger than Manchester United
MANCHESTER, England -- Jose Mourinho has refused to expand on his reasons for stripping Paul Pogba of the vice-captaincy or the trigger for a tense exchange between the pair at training but did warn "no player is bigger than the club."
Mourinho, speaking at a news conference on Friday, insisted his relationship with the midfielder is "good" and revealed United's record £89.3 million signing will play against West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday after impressing in training this week.
"He's a player like the others, no player is bigger than the club and if I'm happy with his work he plays, if I'm not happy he doesn't play," Mourinho said.
"I'm happy with his work this week, really happy.
"Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that."
Mourinho and Pogba's training ground confrontation has come amid a turbulent week at the club. On Tuesday, sources told ESPN FC that Pogba had been stripped of the United vice-captaincy -- something Mourinho then confirmed following a shock defeat to Derby in the Carabao Cup.
Senior Manchester United players were said to be angry and frustrated following Mourinho's comments.
Sources have told ESPN FC that the confrontation between Pogba and Mourinho was because of an Instagram post sent by the 25-year-old during the Carabao Cup exit to Derby.
"I cannot tell you [what it was about]," Mourinho said when asked about the cause.
"The training session was open, you had some cameras with some potential to get some of the words, maybe you have to change the potential if you want to know everything that is said because I'm not going to comment, it was a conversation."
Cameras from Premier League Productions and Sky Sports are allowed into Carrington to film training for 15 minutes once a month.
It has led to speculation the incident was staged by Mourinho but the Portuguese coach denied the exchange was for the benefit of the cameras.
"I have to train as always, I don't care about the cameras," he said.
"I think for you [the media] was amazing because you made a story, an incredible story, out of 15 minutes of open training session.
"What happened the other day happens many days, conversations with players I have many, many, many times.
"Loud instruction happens every day, coaching is about that but you make story about it, so I'm happy the rules are only 15 minutes once a month and situations like that are not going to change. There is no chance you will watch a session."
Mourinho confirmed after the game on Tuesday that Pogba had been removed as a vice-captain but asked on Friday for his reasons behind the move, the 55-year-old refused to expand.
"I explain very detailed to the people that have to know in detail, which is the squad and especially Paul," said Mourinho.
"So Paul and the other players in the squad know in detail the reason why myself and my coaching staff, we decide to do that, and I always analyse a player as a player when a player is captain, I analyse the player by the player and captain perspective and after weeks of analysing and swapping opinions with my coaching staff, we made the decision Paul is just a player and not a captain."