Published On: Fri, Aug 10th, 2018

Paul Pogba: Man Utd hand Barcelona target captaincy vs Leicester to convince him to stay | Football | Sport

Pogba’s future has been the subject of plenty of speculation this summer amid talk of a rift with Mourinho.

And Barcelona has emerged as a potential destination for the midfielder, with the La Liga transfer window open until the end of the month.

Doubts over where Pogba’s future lies have come in the build-up to United’s season-opener against Leicester on Friday night.

The latest reports claim there is an ulterior motive to the France international skippering his side against Claude Puel’s Foxes at Old Trafford.

Pogba has been handed the captaincy against Leicester in the absence of the injured Antonio Valencia.

The Daily Mail claim Mourinho’s decision has been made due to a desire to retain the 25-year-old services.

Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has been looking to get the former Juventus ace out of United this summer.

But Mourinho has responded to Pogba being willing to face Leicester by giving him the task of leading his team.

Pogba’s start against Leicester comes after he only returned to training on Monday off the back of a post-World Cup break.

And the hope is that he is convinced not to push for an exit, with Barcelona waiting in the wings to snap him up.

Raiola is said to have already agreed a deal with Barcelona in case United agree to sanction a move.

However, United are steadfast in wanting to keep hold of their £89m club-record signing.

Pogba could potentially retain the captaincy even after the vastly-experienced Valencia returns to fitness.

And it remains to be seen whether his relationship with Mourinho can be reinvigorated.

Mourinho openly took aim at Pogba after France won the World Cup in July, questioning his attitude.

Barcelona have three weeks left to strike an agreement for Pogba, who lines up alongside Fred and Andreas Pereira in United’s midfield against Leicester.

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Paul Pogba: Man Utd hand Barcelona target captaincy vs Leicester to convince him to stay | Football | Sport