Like a married couple only communicating through a child when one wants the ketchup at the dinner table, the relationship between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba lurches from bad to worse.
And this time it could be terminal.
The Sun claims that Manchester United boss Mourinho has had enough of Pogba’s sauce and told his new skipper that if he wants to quit the club “again” he should actually ask for a transfer and stop sending out coded messages in public.
Pogba is reported to have countered by telling Mourinho if he plans to speak to him formally he MUST do so through his agent Mino Raiola.
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Presumably he told Mourinho this to his face and not through Raiola though…
The “extraordinary bust-up” has driven a never-to-be-removed wedge between the two and with a host of top European clubs ready to come in and rescue poor Pog from his £200k-a-week hell, it looks like Raiola will be on the blower to Jose this very morn.
Following United’s 2-1 defeat of Leicester in their opening Premier League match, Pogba told the world: “There are things I can say and there are things that I cannot say, otherwise I will get fined.”
Stung and stunned, Jose told him: “If you wish to leave Manchester, again, all you have to do is ask for a transfer”.
The “again” was a dig at him having quit the club in 2012 to earn more money at Juventus before his £89million return two years ago.
Barcelona yesterday ruled themselves out of a bid for the France World Cup winner this month – looks like they might be digging out Raiola’s number again ahead of the inevitable Pogba v Jose Champions League clash early next year.
Either way it’s great fun – unless you are a United fan of course. Or Jose.
In other news, it seems Toby Alderweireld’s Tottenham days could be numbered (again). Bayern Munich are interested in signing the 29-year-old Belgium defender (Mirror), who had been linked with a move to Manchester United before telling Mourinho he would only talk to him through Pogba. Maybe.
Real Madrid are targeting Chelsea’s Spain defender Marcos Alonso following their 4-2 Super Cup defeat by local rivals Atletico Madrid on Wednesday (Star) and the Spanish plundering does not stop there.
Real Betis vice-chairman Lorenzo Serra Ferrer says he would like to sign Tottenham’s Brazil striker Lucas Moura, 26, before the Spanish transfer window shuts. (El Desmarque – in Spanish).
Liverpool have rejected an offer from Torino for 22-year-old Serb midfielder Marko Grujic. The Italian club wanted a season-long loan with an option to buy for £9m next summer. (Liverpool Echo).
This is “no longer on the agenda” apparently as the Reds feel the £20m-rated player still has a big Anfield future.
His agent Zoran Stojadinovic has said that CSKA Moscow are also circling. So were Cardiff, though. And Middlesbrough.
Almost under the radar, Newcastle’s 27-year-old Senegal midfielder Henri Saivet is ready to sign for Turkish club Bursaspor on loan (Evening Chronicle), while Tottenham’s 23-year-old French winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou is set for a loan move to German club Mainz. (Sky Sports)
And Chelsea are searching for a replacement for director of football Michael Emenalo, with FA technical director Dan Ashworth, Juliano Belletti, Michael Ballack, and Roma director of football Monchi among the candidates (Telegraph).
A good outside bet for the role is Mourinho himself, the stage set for an emotional third return to the Bridge and the inevitable unveiling of new boy Pogba, etc etc and etc…