Sports Xtra

Jose Mourinho 'barely speaking' to key Man Utd star - and it's NOT Paul Pogba
Jose Mourinho 'barely speaking' to key Man Utd star - and it's NOT Paul Pogba

Jose Mourinho 'barely speaking' to key Man Utd star - and it's NOT Paul Pogba

Written by Gideon Sarpong

JOSE MOURINHO is reportedly 'barely speaking' to Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia as the pressure continues to build on the Portuguese coach.

The Ecuador international, who has officially captained the Red Devils since Michael Carrick's retirement, was left out of the 3-1 defeat to West Ham on Saturday.

Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard were also scrubbed from the matchday squad as Mourinho attempted to find a winning formula at the London Stadium.

The Manchester United boss is fighting for his job at present after falling out with Paul Pogba and now January signing Sanchez.

But according to the Daily Mail, Mourinho is also at odds with Valencia, who is 'barely communicating' with his Old Trafford boss.

The publication claims the former Chelsea manager criticised his captain for not attending the defeat to Derby County in the Carabao Cup last week.

Valencia was subsequently dropped again for the clash against the Hammers and is now barely on speaking terms with the 33-year-old.

Mourinho is also struggling to keep other players in check at present.

Pogba was stripped of the United vice-captaincy last week after appearing to criticise his boss' tactics.

The Frenchman then landed himself in more trouble by posting a video to Instagram in the stands at Old Trafford while his side were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

Pogba was seen arguing with Mourinho in training the following day.

Speaking yesterday, the 55-year-old was defiant in front of reporters, claiming he had the backing of his players.

"I think that some care more than others," he said.

“I told already that after 20 years of football, I am still the kid I was and am still naive.

“I don’t believe the players are not honest."

But pundit and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes Mourinho has lost control of his dressing room.

“I have no doubt from his comments in the press conference when he said ‘some players are trying and some are trying harder than others’ that he's lost the dressing room,” he said on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

“That's not rocket science and I don't even think that's a controversial thing to say.

“The problem with that is that it's now the third time it's happened.

“It started at Real Madrid with [Iker] Casillas and [Sergio] Ramos then it happened at Chelsea with [Eden] Hazard and all the players there and now there's talk of a group led by Pogba.

"So there's no doubt there's massive problems there.”