The Debate panel discussed whether Paul Pogba has more power at Manchester United than Jose Mourinho, and the feeling was unanimous.
United have described reports Mourinho and Pogba had a big bust-up as “absolute nonsense”, insisting their relationship is good, after several newspapers reported on Thursday Mourinho had warned the France World Cup winner not to speak out to the media and he should ask for a transfer if he wanted to quit the club.
Ian Wright, speaking on The Debate, believes Pogba has the power at Old Trafford, and insists Mourinho must attempt to extinguish the problem as soon as possible, for his own good.
He said: “I think [the power] lies with Pogba. The World Cup has upped the ante on his side of it. When you look with Ed Woodward too, he’s going to be in Pogba’s corner, so [Jose Mourinho] is going up against those two, and he [Woodward] is pretty powerful, and when you throw the two agents into the mix, two of the most powerful agents in the world [Mino Raiola and Jorge Mendes]
“The commercial value of Paul Pogba to Man Utd is massive for people like Woodward. You’ve got a manager who is just upsetting the apple cart. Paul Pogba has done it simply because of the new power he feels he has.
“I don’t know how happy Man Utd fans are. Can they be happy at the moment? Everything is going to come back to those two, even if Man Utd do start playing the vibrant football, I think the Mourinho and Pogba issue will be a problem for the season.
“At some stage they will have to sit down and sort it out for the best interests of the club. They’ve got to stop it. They’re lucky it’s early in the season, so they can quash it and carry on playing football.
“United don’t need these distractions, they need Paul Pogba to be playing at their best. He’s the one who should be quashing this.”
In Thursday’s reports it was also suggested Pogba had hit back by telling Mourinho he should go through his agent Mino Raiola if he planned to speak to him formally again.
United have been incensed by these stories calling them “absolute nonsense” and that furthermore, the relationship between Pogba and Mourinho remained “good”.
Joleon Lescott, speaking on The Debate, also believes the power is with Pogba, and says Mourinho may have to stroke the France international’s ego in an attempt to reduce the impact of the reports.
“The details of the story suggest it has come from somewhere, possibly from Pogba’s side, I don’t know why Mourinho would want to leak that,” Lescott said.
“I think the power is with Paul Pogba, if you think of the value of Pogba to Man Utd, and what Mourinho means, Pogba means more, in terms of future earnings, progressing and being a force again.
“I think it is Jose’s best interest to stop this, and maybe stroke Pogba’s ego a bit. He may not be used to that or want to do that, but Man Utd need Paul Pogba more than they need Jose Mourinho, it’s sad to say.
“It’s the way the game has gone. Pogba is a phenomenal player, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t know if anyone is questioning Mourinho’s tactical ability, but I don’t think as a man manager he has evolved enough for this new generation of players.”