FORMER Chelsea striker Didier Drogba believes Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho’s harsh treatment of Paul Pogba is because the boss likes the Frenchman, while reports have emerged of a stunning summer spend spree that could spell Pogba’s end at Old Trafford.
Drogba, who played under Mourinho at Chelsea, has suggested that the midfielder is being challenged by his manager owing to the fact he’s fond of him.
The Ivorian striker claims that he clashed with the Portuguese manager on multiple occasions at Stamford Bridge.
“It was heated between us more than once, but Jose will never attack people he doesn’t like,” Drogba said.
“He likes Paul a lot. It’s why he’s given him a lot of responsibility.”
Pogba hasn’t started for United since March 5, and was dropped for matches against Sevilla in the Champions League and Brighton in the FA Cup, with Mourinho preferring Scott McTominay or Marouane Fellaini.
And now The Mirror reports that United’s most expensive ever signing could be on his way out of the club in the summer, to pave the way for a massive Mourinho spending spree.
The report suggests that the boss is sick of Pogba focussing more on his image than his football, and is ready to get rid of the player to finance moves for a range of European stars.
Real Madrid duo Raphael Varane and Toni Kroos are allegedly at the top of the wish list, with PSG pair Marco Verratti and Marquinhos also to be targeted in another huge spend.
The final man on the five-man hit list is Juventus’ Alex Sandro, who will come in to replace Luke Shaw at left back. The entire cost of the transfer frenzy is touted to be roughly £200m (AU$366m).
Meanwhile, a conflicting report from The Mirror suggests that United have already held talks with Napoli midfielder Jorginho, with the star in Manchester for Italy’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina at the Etihad Stadium over the weekend.
The Brazilian-born Italian international is reportedly available for £50m (AU$91m), with United out to beat the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal to his signature.
Mourinho has been under fire of late after rumours of a rift with Pogba were followed by outrage at his treatment of Shaw – who some believe has become an Old Trafford scapegoat for the manager, and is also the target of bullying.
But now, Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal has defended his compatriot – arguing the Special One is best when he’s ‘fighting.’
“I like Mourinho and he knows that I like him. I studied him. I spent a week at Manchester United when Alex Ferguson was there, then a week watching Mourinho at Chelsea. I also went to Real Madrid,” Carvalhal said.
“I tried to learn with the best. He has a big self-confidence, like I do. You need that. But he is a completely different personality to me. He likes confrontation. He likes to fight with people. And he’s very good when he is fighting.
“I am completely different. I like to keep far away from the fight. I like to win, but, if someone tries to fight with me, they will find they are fighting with themselves.”