One of Paul Pogba’s brothers, Mathias Fassou Pogba, has launched a withering attack on Jose Mourinho and blamed the former Manchester United manager for the France midfielder’s troubles this season.
Pogba’s relationship with Mourinho imploded and culminated in the Portuguese branding his record signing “a virus” in a dressing-room tirade at Southampton last month and dropping him to the substitutes’ bench for his final three league matches in charge.
The United midfielder has been revitalised since Mourinho’s sacking a week before Christmas, scoring four goals in as many games under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Pogba has flown to Dubai to join up with United’s squad on a warm-weather training camp after staying behind to receive treatment on an injury suffered against Newcastle that forced him to miss the FA Cup win over Reading on Saturday. Pogba hopes to be fit to face Tottenham on Sunday.
And Mathias Pogba – who plays for Tours FC in the third tier of French football – believes it is no surprise Pogba is thriving now Mourinho has gone as he tore into the former manager.
“It was Mourinho who was the problem,” Mathias told RMC Sport. “Mourinho still wants to be the centre of attention. The problem was Mourinho, right down the line.
“In the locker room, outside the locker room… everything. I know my brother, and you tell him, ‘Go. Go play’, the rest, he will do it.
“From what we see of Mourinho, he always wants to be the maestro, the centre of attention.
“[Paul] does not even calculate that aspect: you respect him, he will respect you, you trust him, he will produce big performances.”
Meanwhile, United have announced they will open a series of club-themed “entertainment and experience” centres across China in partnership with leading Chinese property developer Harves in the latest move to spread their wings in Asia.
They first centres are due to open in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang by the end of next year and will involve interactive attractions and exhibitions that use the latest technology in a bid to bring the club and and its Old Trafford stadium to life for their purported 100 million followers in China.
As well as experiencing the thrill of a matchday at Old Trafford, fans will be able to learn more about the history and heritage of the club. United hope it will deepen ties with their supporter base in China.
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The Beijing centre will be located within the Beijing FUN development in the Qianmen Dashilan area next to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden centre. Each centre will have a restaurant and official club retail store.
“We’re very excited to be partnering with Harves on the Manchester United Entertainment and Experience Centres concept, offering our millions of Chinese fans the chance to experience the club in a new and innovative way,” United’s group managing director, Richard Arnold, said.
“We first visited China in 1975 and we’re proud to have seen our fan base in the region grow and develop their passion for United over the years. This new concept will allow them to get closer to the club they love.”