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Wednesday 16 October 2019

Jose distances himself from agent remark

Jose Mourinho gives his reaction to Manchester United's Champions League defeat. Photo: Reuters
Jose Mourinho gives his reaction to Manchester United's Champions League defeat. Photo: Reuters

Jose Mourinho insists he didn't know his agent Jorge Mendes was going to release a statement about the Manchester United manager's future.

Last Friday's surprise statement from Mendes said the under pressure Mourinho was "fully committed to the club".

But ahead of United's Champions League clash with Valencia this evening, Mourinho said: "It's Jorge's statement - it's not my statement. I didn't know at all and I didn't care about it."

Paul Pogba is set to start against Valencia after spending the last two matches on the bench, and Mourinho wants to see a response from him.

"I'm looking for him to play well and to have a good impact in the game and a good impact in the team - a team with many players that don't have many miles on their legs," he said.

Mourinho bristled when quizzed on why he has not been able to get the best out of Pogba.

"I don't think your question goes in the direction of what I want to answer or listen (to)," Mourinho said. "I don't like your question."

Assured

Meanwhile, Valencia head coach Marcelino has backed Eric Bailly (pictured below) to get back to his best at United. With Champions League progress assured, injuries biting and Sunday's trip to Liverpool on the horizon, Mourinho is set to rotate his team in Spain.

Bailly trained ahead of United's trip to Valencia after overcoming a knock and will be hoping for just his second appearance since Newcastle visited in October, when he was unceremoniously hauled off after just 19 minutes.

It underlined how far the Ivory Coast international had fallen down the pecking order after such a bright start to life at Old Trafford following his move from a Villarreal side managed by current Valencia coach Marcelino in 2016.

"I was so lucky to have Eric as a footballer, as a player," he said. "He's an extraordinary player and an extraordinary person.

"I'm so sorry for his injuries, because I know his performances are conditioned by this. I know he is having a hard time.

"I wish nothing but the best for him and I feel his youth will help him through these hard times and he will be very important for United."

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