Who will leave Man United first

Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho are at loggerheads at Manchester United.

The Frenchman has been stripped of captaincy duties after criticising the side’s style of play under Mourinho, with the pair caught in a frosty exchange at training on Wednesday morning.

Here Sportsmail reporters debate whether the player or manager will be first to depart Old Trafford…

Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho are at loggerheads at Manchester United after recent events

Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho are at loggerheads at Manchester United after recent events

JACK GAUGHAN – MOURINHO

They could both be heading for the exit the way this is going, but Mourinho’s position is more urgent. 

He is not cajoling consistent performances out of the team and that, whatever you might think of Pogba, is the overriding issue at Old Trafford right now. 

Ed Woodward will want to keep Pogba for as long as possible, although how feasible that is remains uncertain.

RIATH AL-SAMARRAI- MOURINHO

Pogba is a pest and clearly an agitator, always has been, but Mourinho fits the exact same mould. 

The difference is that United might feel they can still get some mileage out of Pogba if they work on the hefty assumption that his feelings about leaving are based on Mourinho staying. 

If he is keen to stay in Mourinho’s absence, then they will be retaining a world-class player, the likes of which are in short supply at United. 

As for Mourinho? He seems eminently more expendable and it feels as though he is reaching the typical point in a Mourinho cycle when it is time for him to move on.

Mourinho stripped Pogba of captaincy duties at Old Trafford after he criticised playing style

Mourinho stripped Pogba of captaincy duties at Old Trafford after he criticised playing style

ESSENTIAL READING ON THE POGBA-MOURINHO ROW

READ: Pogba and Mourinho in training row

READ: Relationship plummets to new depths as Pogba targets Barcelona

READ: Pogba told he will never captain Manchester United again 

READ: Who are key players in Old Trafford power struggle? 

READ: Performances on the pitch the greatest threat to Mourinho’s future

READ: Can Barcelona afford Pogba?

 

DOMINIC KING – MOURINHO

This has been a lamentable period for Manchester United and the negative narrative has been set by the manager, right the way back to the dreadful pre-season tour. 

Pogba can’t go anywhere until January, so he is guaranteed to be at Old Trafford for three months. Mourinho, however, could be gone before Christmas and it really would not be a surprise if he that situation were to unfold. 

They will not win the league, they will struggle to get into the top four and if the bad results keep popping up, a Mourinho exit in December would be odds-on favourite with bookmakers.

SAMI MOKBEL – MOURINHO

Barcelona want Pogba. Pogba wants Barcelona. All the fingers point towards Pogba departing first. But there’s a long way to go until the January transfer window, or worse the summer window. 

Results could cost Mourinho his job long before the club have an opportunity of getting Pogba out of the building.

Pogba has made it clear to Mourinho that he wants to leave the club and join Barcelona

Pogba has made it clear to Mourinho that he wants to leave the club and join Barcelona

CHRIS WHEELER – POGBA

Pogba has made it clear to United that he wants to leave for Barcelona regardless of who is in charge at Old Trafford. 

Despite Pogba’s deteriorating relationship with Jose Mourinho, that is not the driving force behind his attempt to quit United and the club know that. 

Even if Mourinho leaves, Pogba still wants out. It’s possible that Mourinho could be go first based on results and problems with other members of the squad (i.e. Martial, Bailly, Shaw) if Ed Woodward decides to take action, but United would still stand to lose Pogba.

The pair were involved in a frosty exchange at United's Carrington training base on Wednesday

The pair were involved in a frosty exchange at United’s Carrington training base on Wednesday

LAURIE WHITWELL – MOURINHO

Gone are the days under Sir Alex Ferguson where insubordination would lead to a star player departing Manchester United rather unceremoniously. 

Times have changed and Mourinho does not have the credit Sir Alex amassed. If results continue to spiral downwards, it will be the manager leaving, not Paul Pogba.

While Mino Raiola may have agreed Pogba’s personal terms with Barcelona, it would take a staggering bid to convince Ed Woodward to sell. 

In the eyes of the man who partners United with Thai noodle companies, Pogba’s commercial pull is worth more than Barca are likely able to spend and it seems the player knows this. 

When he speaks in barely disguised barbs it is from a perceived position of strength. 

Fuelling this is the rumour prevalent among United’s squad that Zinedine Zidane has already bee approached through intermediaries.

It all adds up to Mourinho, shorn of his long-time assistant Rui Faria, being shown the door before Pogba is sold.