Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho bombarded Paul Pogba with text messages encouraging him to sign for the Red Devils. The 23-year-old Frenchman rejoined United — the club he left in 2012 — from Juventus over the summer in a world-record deal, but Mourinho has revealed he needed all of his powers of persuasion to make the deal happen.
The United manager also confessed that another club was interested in acquiring Pogba over the summer, although he has remained tight-lipped about his mystery rivals. "Oh! It was hard to convince him," Mourinho said, according to Goal.
"I had many [conversations] on the phone, lots of SMS. I think he was getting one in the morning from the manager from another big club and one in the afternoon from myself. I had to try hard to convince him to choose us instead of the other one."
Pogba made his second United debut against Southampton in August in a midfield role alongside Marouane Fellaini. He has, however, been criticised by former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher for showing a lack of discipline in United's 2-1 derby defeat to Manchester City.
"The performance of Paul Pogba, it was ill-disciplined," Carragher said on Sky Sports about United's record signing. "He was like a kid in the schoolyard, running where he wants and doing what he wants.
"I felt so sorry for Marouane Fellaini. The space in the centre of that pitch and he was left on his own by Pogba. He's either got it wrong or Jose Mourinho's given him licence to get forward."
United were overrun by City in the first-half of the Manchester derby, but their performance improved considerably in the second period, after Mourinho opted to switch to a three-man midfield. It has been suggested the Portuguese boss could adopt that approach more consistently in an effort to get the best out of Pogba.