Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba’s relationship hit a new low after an extraordinary bust-up.
The Manchester United boss warned him not to air his grievances in the media and said if he wants to quit the club “again” he should ask for a transfer.
Pogba hit back by telling Mourinho if he plans to speak to him formally again he should go through his agent Mino Raiola.
Mourinho delivered his no-nonsense message after ordering the Frenchman in for showdown talks in the wake of Pogba’s comments following United’s 2-1 opening-day win over Leicester.
An unhappy Pogba had told newspaper reporters: “There are things I can say and there are things that I cannot say, otherwise I will get fine.”
A furious Mourinho told Pogba he did not appreciate those comments and added, “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.
Pogba stood his ground in the meeting and told Mourinho that if he wanted to speak that way to him he should go via Raiola.
The spiky talks have taken the pair’s relationship to new depths.
Mourinho was left bemused by Pogba’s post-match comments having made him captain and praised him afterwards.
But the bad blood is hanging over from last season when the pair fell out leading to Mourinho dropping and subbing the player.
Mourinho is understood to blame agent Raiola for a lot of the unrest with reports of Pogba wanting a move to Barcelona.
The United boss had given Pogba the captain’s armband against the Foxes as a show of faith in him.
Pogba scored a third-minute penalty and was man of the match.
After the game Mourinho described Pogba as a “monster” for the physical effort he put in so soon after winning the World Cup and also used the words “fantastic” and “amazing” to describe his performance.
That will have made Mourinho all the more disappointed when he read Pogba’s comments 48 hours later, when he also remarked, “If you’re not happy, you cannot give your best”.
Now Mourinho has told him if he has problems he comes straight to him to talk face-to-face — not to make it public.
Pogba is understood to have been unhappy with Mourinho’s barbed comments during the club’s US pre-season tour when assessing his World Cup performance.
Mourinho had said: “I hope he understands why he was very good.”
He also suggested that Pogba was able to prosper in Russia because he did not have as many distractions while he was in the France camp.
The Portuguese added that it was up to the player, not the manager, to see that form reproduced for United.
He said: “I don’t think it’s about us getting the best out of him, it’s about him giving the best he has to give.”