Paul Pogba set to be named on bench for Man United bench

The saga surrounding Paul Pogba’s recent troubles at Manchester United has taken another twist after it emerged that he is set to be left out of the starting line-up for the Champions League clash with Sevilla on Wednesday night.

It is unclear if manager Jose Mourinho has decided to omit the club’s record £89million signing once again and put him on the bench, or if Pogba has failed to fully recover from the illness that kept him out of last weekend’s FA Cup tie at Huddersfield.

Despite phoning in sick on Saturday morning, the Frenchman was able to train at Carrington 24 hours later and has been involved in every session since then. Previous to the game at Huddersfield, he had been dropped once and substituted twice in United’s last three matches as questions were asked about his relationship with Mourinho. 

Manchester United star Paul Pogba has to make do with a place on the bench against Sevilla

Pogba trained with Manchester United's first team on Tuesday after struggling with illness

Pogba trained with Manchester United’s first team on Tuesday after struggling with illness

While the United boss admitted on Friday that Pogba’s form has dipped in recent weeks, he dismissed talk of a rift with the player as ‘lies and bull***t’ following reports originating from France that the 24-year-old was unhappy just 19 months after returning to Old Trafford from Juventus.

It was suggested that he is demanding to play on the left-hand side of midfield in a 4-3-3 formation, and has had his ego pricked by the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal last month on a deal worth £600,000-a-week.

News that Pogba is set to be left out of one of United’s biggest matches of the season in Spain is bound to spark more speculation after Mourinho indicated on Tuesday night that he would be fit to return.

‘I opened the training session today and I opened in a period where we normally don’t open,’ he said. ‘We normally do it in the warming-up and in the first simple drills of the training session, and this time we did it for quite a long time, and in the last period so you could see the players in a competitive situation.

‘When a player is in that situation it’s because the players are normally ready and without problems, so you could see that in training some people that didn’t play against Huddersfield with problems, like Pogba, (Antonio) Valencia, (Marcus) Rashford and (Ander) Herrera, so I think in an objective way you could look at it.’

Mourinho even went so far as to play down the expectations on Pogba in anticipation of his return to the line-up.

He added: ‘I don’t think it’s fair to speak about the responsibilities of a player. I don’t even like the fact that the player that cost X millions doesn’t have the same responsibility as the player that cost three times X.

‘The responsibility is for everyone so I don’t like that approach. I understand for you but not for me. The same way when I decide a team to play, I don’t look to the age, the salary, the transfer fee, because that’s not also fair.’ 

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has criticised Pogba's performances in recent weeks 

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has criticised Pogba’s performances in recent weeks 

Youngster Scott McTominay (right) could be given the nod to start in Pogba's absence

Youngster Scott McTominay (right) could be given the nod to start in Pogba’s absence