Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho once again affirmed that he and midfielder Paul Pogba are on good terms and have not been feuding in any way, suggesting that a lack of journalistic ethics created their supposed rift.
The Portuguese tactician opted to bench his star midfielder on a few occasions this season, with Pogba criticised for a series of poor performances, which he more than often reversed with an impressive individual showing. The up-and-down nature of Pogba's personal campaign, coupled with Mourinho's tendency to share his thoughts openly with the press, created a narrative of discontent between the two. Mourinho is now addressing those reports directly.
"If that happened 10 or 15 years back, it would bother me a lot, because in that time it wouldn't have lies in journalism," Mourinho told ESPN when asked of the rumours.
"Actually, I don't even know who's a journalist and who isn't anymore, because nowadays anyone can be a journalist. In fact, me and Paul never had a personal issue.
"If you tell me that we would have problems because me, as a coach, create different things than someone else and vice versa, OK. But personal issues, absolutely not.
"And I feel happy to say that Paul can be a lot of things, but there's a thing I can assure you: he's very polite."
Pogba, too, has made his stance clear, telling Canal+ last week "I have no problem with Mourinho," adding: "I also believe that he has no problem with me. He is the coach, he makes the decisions. Me, I am a player, I accept it and I have to respond on the pitch, that's all."
Mourinho also pointed to social media as a cause for managerial concern, specifically as it pertains to Arsene Wenger's tenure at Arsenal. The Frenchman is stepping down after 22 years with the club, but Mourinho doesn't believe those long stays are possible in football anymore.
"There will never be another Wenger. The football world does not permit the existence of another Wenger or (Sir Alex) Ferguson.
"The social media world doesn't let it happen, so it's over. And that's a shame because a professional with stability and years in a club can aggregate not only in the team but also fundamentally, which is more important. And it's sad that he's the last one."