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Jose Mourinho insists he ‘could not be happier’ with Paul Pogba



Jose Mourinho insists he ‘could not be happier’ with Paul Pogba amid rumours of a rift between the Manchester United duo.

Pogba has been consistently linked with a move to Barcelona over the course of the summer but has remained at Old Trafford.

Reports emerged this week of a fresh dispute between the United boss and his midfielder, but Mourinho says he is happier with Pogba now than at any other point since his then world record return to Manchester two years ago.

He said: “The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks and I’ve never been so happy with him as I am now, that’s the truth. I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him.”

Mourinho was particularly impressed that Pogba answered his SOS to play in the opening Premier League game against Leicester after just three days training following his return from his post-World Cup break.

Mourinho insists he ‘could not be happier’ with Pogba (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

“He came here on the Monday, trained three days, I asked for his support, for his contribution in an important match for us when the team had difficulties. He did it better and for more time than we could expect.”

After his impressive performance, Pogba pointedly said he did for the fans and the team – but didn’t mention Mourinho.

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Mourinho however says they are exactly the sentiments he wants to hear.

“When he says he did it for the fans and for the team is exactly what I want, is exactly what I demand from my players.

“He’s working well, playing well, he does for the fans, he does for the team and that’s what I want, to play for the team and I couldn’t be happier than what I am.

“I don’t care [about his comments]. I repeat: I want him to play well, I want him to play for that team,, the fans, and that is what it is.

There had been reports of a fresh rift between the pair (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

“He’s working extremely well here but I have to say in his defence: write what you want about him and me, but please don’t say lies, don’t put him in a situation that people can think he’s not a polite, educated guy, he is.

“He never had a fight with me. We never had a heated exchange of words, everything is respected, I have no problems at all.

Asked what Pogba meant when he said there were things he couldn’t say because he would be fined, Mourinho said that in his two seasons in charge he had only fined one player, Anthony Martial.

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That was this summer when Martial missed eight days of training after being given permission to leave United’s pre-season tour in the USA to attend the birth of his second child.

“You have to ask Paul,” he said. “I’m here for two years and a couple of months and the only player that was fined was Anthony Martial, so is not easy to be fined here, so you have to ask him. I’m not going to ask him. I want him to work the way he is doing and play the way he is doing and that’s all that matters.”

Mourinho believes Pogba and United’s other World Cup late starters will be in far better condition after a full week of training and hopes he will maintain the level of performance he showed against Leicester, when he was man of the match.

Mourinho has rubbished reports of a dispute (Image: Action Images via Reuters)

But he insists he will not turn against him if he has a bad performance

“I am very confident he will play well but if he doesn’t, that’s football,” he said.

“If his objective is to play for the team, for the fans, he has the right to have a bad match. Everybody has a bad day and has little ups and downs in the performance level.”

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Pogba will keep the captaincy for Sunday’s trip to Brighton but Mourinho will give the armband back to last season’s skipper Antonio Valencia when he is fit to return to the team again, although he hinted that Pogba could be the team leader again in the long-term.

“For the next match Paul will be captain it will stay with Antonio Valencia,” he said. “Last season I made Paul captain against Basel we thought he’s a young guy but a good personality, he was made in academy, normally a starting line-up player, so he has conditions to be captain in the future. But when Antonio comes back he will be the captain.”

Valencia and Nemanja Matic are back in full training after their injuries but are not in contention for selection for the trip to the Amex Stadium.




World tennis champion, Djokovic tests positive for COVID-19




Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic, Tuesday disclosed that  he has tested positive for coronavirus, joining a slew of other infected players who took part in an exhibition tennis tournament in the Balkans.

According to AFP, “Novak Djokovic tested positive for a virus COVID-19,” read a statement from his staff. “He is not showing any symptoms “.

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Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi cleared of rape




Callum Hudson-Odoi will not face any further action regarding a rape allegation, the Chelsea winger said on Saturday.

Hudson-Odoi was arrested on May 17 and released on bail.

But the England international has now said the police will not be pursuing the matter.

“At a time where there are bigger things happening in the world right now, you may also be aware of serious allegations that were made against me,” Hudson-Odoi wrote on Twitter.

“I have stayed silent and assisted the police fully throughout their enquiries, as I knew the day would soon come when my name would be cleared.

“Following a full and thorough investigation, the police have now confirmed they will take no further action.”

The 19-year-old added: “I would like to use this platform to thank everyone who has stood by my side and supported me during this difficult period.”

Hudson-Odoi made a full recovery after becoming the first Premier League player to test positive for COVID-19 in March and has been taking part in Chelsea’s preparations for the Premier League resumption next week.

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£53m Deal: Chelsea close to signing Werner




Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign striker Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, British media reported Thursday.

The 24-year-old had been thought to be attracting interest from Premier League champions-elect Liverpool but it appears Chelsea have in fact met the German’s reported release clause of some £53 million ($67 million).

Were Chelsea to bring Werner to Stamford Bridge it would be a major feather in the cap of the west London club.

For the past year, there has been speculation linking Werner with a move to Anfield but time appears to be running out for the Reds, with the forward’s release clause expiring on June 15 — two days before the Premier League is set to restart after a coronavirus-enforced break of several months.

The Germany international has scored 31 goals for Leipzig in all competitions.

Chelsea have already agreed on a deal to sign Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech.


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