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JOSE MOURINHO FIRED a thinly-veiled shot at Paul Pogba by saying he could have risked getting sacked from Manchester United if handled the star midfielder in the wrong way.
He recalls one particular incident in which he appears to refer to Pogba as “His Excellency,” and also mentions his Rolls-Royce car.
Mourinho and Pogba endured a particularly frosty relationship during the Portuguese’s tenure, especially in the final few months of his Red Devils stint.
The ex-United boss stripped Pogba of his vice-captaincy at the start of the 2018-19 season, and the former Real Madrid boss was fired just months later following a poor start in the Premier League.
And now, Mourinho has seemingly offered a glimpse at an incident that helped foster that frosty relationship between them.
The incident in question is seemingly one that occurred following a 2-0 win over Burnley, a match that came just days before Pogba was stripped of the vice-captaincy in September.
“We would play a team that was 30 kilometres from Manchester and a player asked me if after the game he could return to Manchester without the team and go on his own,” Mourinho said during a coaching seminar in Portugal.
“I told him, ‘If we went to London and you wanted to stay there, that would be one thing. But this is close, it doesn’t make sense’.
“The guy was upset. But then we won the game and he asked me again. Because I was happy, I gave in a little and said, ‘At least leave on the bus and ask your chauffeur to catch up with you 10 minutes from the stadium, then go as you wish’.
Pogba has flourished since Mourinho’s departure, finding a much more prominent role under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the club now sit fifth in the Premier League.
“And this guy in the locker-room still wasn’t happy. I went to the press conference and when I arrived at the team bus, parked beside it was a Rolls-Royce with his chauffeur.After all, the car was new and ‘His Excellency’ would like to leave the stadium in his Rolls-Royce. Now how do we deal with this? You [tell him] never go in the Rolls? You can go when I’m happy? Or you solve this thing in another way to get me ‘on vacation’.”
The Red Devils are level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham and just two points being third-placed Arsenal in the battle for a Champions League berth next season.