Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho
Pogba and Mourinho were involved in an exchange on the touchline against Tottenham. Getty


  • The France international is unhappy and wants to be deployed in a midfield three.
  • Pogba has been subbed off in two of United's last three matches.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba wants Jose Mourinho to change systems to accommodate him in a midfield three, according to reports.

The Daily Record claim there is growing friction between Pogba and his manager over what position he plays in United's starting XI. Mourinho's favoured formation this season has been a 4-2-3-1, deploying Pogba and Nemanja Matic as a pair in a system that has faltered in recent weeks.

In a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on 31 January, the pair were overrun with the France international taken off after 63 minutes and he was subsequently dropped for the following game against Huddersfield Town.

Pogba returned to the starting XI at Newcastle United last Sunday [11 February] but was immediately subbed off after failing to jump to challenge his man after a free kick was delivered into the box, with the resulting knockdown leading to the hosts' winning goal.

According to the Record, Pogba feels the defensive duties he is being asked to carry out are limiting the impact he can deliver going forward and believes a system that allows him to operate on the left of a midfield three – as he did at Juventus – will produce better performances.

Mourinho however feels that given Pogba's strength and technical ability, he should be able play comfortably in any midfield role. The Frenchman's recent failures to follow careful tactical instructions against Tottenham and Newcastle are understood to have annoyed his manager.

L'Equipe also report on the increasingly strained relationship between Pogba and Mourinho. While the 24-year-old spent last season actively encouraging France teammate Antoine Griezmann to join the club, the publication suggest he is now considering his own future at Old Trafford with "some regrets" over his decision to return to Manchester last summer.

Mourinho has seldom deviated from the system that pairs Pogba and Matic in a midfield two this season. Of United's 27 league games, the duo have both been available for 17 of those, selected at the heart of midfield in 12 of them.

Mourinho experimented with a 3-5-2 formation in two matches against Watford and Arsenal in late November/early December last year, while Ander Herrera joined them in a midfield three twice in games against Stoke City in September and Everton in January. Just once was Pogba not included despite being fit and available, with Scott McTominay stepping in against Huddersfield Town earlier this month.