By Jamie Jackson/The Guardian
Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba he will never captain Manchester United again, in a move made by the manager to underline his authority at the club.
Pogba had been given the armband by Mourinho for three matches this season in the absence of Antonio Valencia. But it is understood the manager has informed the Frenchman this will not occur again because of his unhappiness with the player.
The midfielder has performed erratically this term and, after the 1-1 draw with Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday, seemed to question Mourinho’s tactics, stating United should “attack, attack, attack” more. While these are the words of a popular fans’ chant, this followed Pogba saying earlier in the season he would be fined for saying certain things.
The move from Mourinho is the latest fracture in his relationship with Pogba and calls into doubt the 25-year-old’s long-term future at the club. Following last Saturday’s 1-1 draw, Pogba said: “We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack. When we play like [that] it’s easier for us.”
Pogba – who rejoined the club from Juventus for a then world record £89mn in 2016 – fell out of favour at United last season and suggested he was dissatisfied with life at Old Trafford. France boss Didier Deschamps recently said the perception of Pogba as “individualistic” was inaccurate, and that his midfielder was misunderstood by fans and the media.
United earn record revenues but have debt of £487mn Manchester United earned record revenues of £590m though the Glazers’ debt from buying the club 13 years ago stands at nearly half a billion, according to the latest financial results. The borrowings of the 20-times champions remain at £487mn despite the American family having purchased United in 2005 for a debt of £525mn. This means that less than £3mn a year has been paid off since, with the cost of serving the debt amounting to £24mn a year.
Yet the £590mn revenue places United ahead of Manchester City as the most successful club in these terms, with the champions’ recently published results showing £500.5mn.
United last claimed the title in May 2013 and Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, focused on the drive for silverware when discussing financial results which run to June 2018. “We are the biggest sports team in the world. That requires continued investment. Our aim is to win trophies, it is one of the reasons we hired Jose Mourinho. Everyone at the club is working tirelessly,” Woodward said.
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