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Mourinho brands Paul Pogba ‘a virus’ after the 2-2 draw to Southampton



Jose Mourinho is under mounting pressure again as he begins to show the strain of Manchester United’s faltering season.

Before Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Southampton, Mourinho hauled his players into an 11am team meeting after breakfast at the Hilton Ageas Bowl and launched into an expletive-filled rant lasting 10 minutes.

The 55-year-old is understood to have told the squad that United’s slump isn’t just his fault and questioned their professionalism and attitude.

Later, Mourinho berated his team once again in the dressing room at St Mary’s following their third poor performance in a week.

It was claimed on Sunday that he branded Paul Pogba ‘a virus’ after United’s coaching staff identified the record signing as the root of many of the problems afflicting the team.

Mourinho, who responded to a late winner against Young Boys last Tuesday by hurling a crate of drinks to the floor, was then driven to his family home in London from Southampton airport while most of the squad flew back to Manchester.

The United boss has become an increasingly isolated figure in recent weeks, detached from the players, who have struggled to accept his criticism and outspoken comments.

The atmosphere around the training ground at Carrington has been described as ‘unbearable’ with many players and staff feeling the situation cannot continue for much longer.

Mauricio Pochettino would be the popular choice to take over if Mourinho is sacked, with assistant coach Michael Carrick an option to become interim manager if the Tottenham boss is unavailable until the end of the season.

United are 16 points behind Manchester City going into Wednesday’s home clash with Arsenal and their problems at centre back have worsened after Phil Jones was sent for scans on an injury.


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