Paul Pogba wore the captain’s armband for Manchester United on Friday night; but Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the official captain of the club following Michael Carrick’s retirement is another player.
Pogba wearing the armband came amidst a blaze of publicity with some reckoning it to be a bargaining chip as United try and convince the World Cup winner that his long-term future is at the club.
However, Jose Mourinho has played down such speculation, insisting that the captain of the club is in fact Antonio Valencia.
Last season, he (Pogba) was captain a few times, Mourinho told Sky Sports. The captain is (Antonio) Valencia. Valencia is not here. Paul is one of the options. It’s his third season in the club, he was made in the Academy and understands the club, the culture of the club and the tradition. He is with the boys in the dressing room and is a good example today of putting himself available to try to participate.
Pogba lead by example in a man of the match performance, scoring a penalty early on to set United on their way. There were conflicting reports over the weekend about the player’s future, with some reports on the continent appearing to state that Pogba was happy for his future to be at Old Trafford, although the UK press ran big with quotes which suggested the exact opposite.
It is highly unlikely United will agree to sell Pogba in August or even allow themselves to be forced into selling their prized asset in January like Barcelona were able to push Liverpool into.
Still, giving Pogba the armband would have been a huge sign of faith in the midfielder; confirming that Valencia is the captain is sure to cause some division, with Pogba or even David De Gea a popular choice among the support.