Didier Drogba: 'Jose Mourinho likes Paul Pogba a lot'

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Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on March 16, 2018 in Manchester, England. Mourinho wants to bring Toni Kroos and Raphael Varane from the Santiago Bernabeu to Old Trafford and is prepared to use Pogba as a means to achieve those deals.

"It was heated between us a couple of times, but Jose will never attack people he doesn't like", Drogba told Telefoot.

Mourinho has been outspoken in his criticism of several United players including record signing Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw, who was substituted at halftime in the FA Cup victory over Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this month.

"That's why he's given him a lot of responsibilities".

France coach Didier Deschamps admitted he has spoken at length with Pogba, claiming he has mental and physical issues.

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He said: "I think it's a combination of both Mourinho and Pogba here and a little bit of Pogba feeling left out and needing someone to hug him and Mourinho not being the guy who hugs and loves here and there and everywhere".

The 25-year-old has struggled to find form consistently, with many suggesting he is ill-suited to Mourinho's preferred 4-2-3-1 set-up, while injuries have also hampered his performances. "He's having a hard period in Manchester, which is also linked to physical problems, the head as well".

"If your manager is not playing you, why are you going to be talky talky?"

But if he does start on the bench against Colombia, even if it is due to a fitness concern, there will likely be questions about his starting spot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.