Jose Mourinho has insisted that Paul Pogba has the "same responsibilities" as his Manchester United teammates, despite the world record price tag on his shoulders after joining the club.
The Frenchman's performances been criticised by some since his £89m arrival from Juventus, and reports have circulated that he is unhappy with his role at United. But Mourinho has made clear that there is no added pressure on Pogba because of the cost of his signing in the summer of 2016.
😠😠😠— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 21, 2018
"I don't like the fact that the player that cost X-million doesn't have the same responsibility of one that cost three times X."
Jose Mourinho has played down Paul Pogba's burden on @ManUtd: https://t.co/PXoHWmURTP pic.twitter.com/vnoodRWOAL
"I don't think it's fair to speak about the responsibilities of a player," said Mourinho - quoted by Sky Sports. "I don't even like the fact that the player that cost X-million doesn't have the same responsibility of one that cost three times X.
"They have the same responsibility so I don't like that approach. I understand for you, but not for me. The same way when I decide a team to play, I don't look to the age, the salary, the transfer fee, because that's not also fair."
Pogba has returned to training after missing Saturday's FA Cup victory over Huddersfield with illness, and Mourinho suggested he could be ready for Wednesday's trip to Sevilla in the first leg of the Champions League last-16.
"I opened the training session today in the period we don't normally open," he said. "We normally do the warm-up and the first simple drills and this time we did it for quite a long time in the last period so we could see the players in a competitive situation.
"When a player is in that type of situation it is because the players are normally ready and without problems.
"So you could see in training some people that didn't play against Huddersfield with problems, like Pogba, [Antonio] Valencia, [Marcus] Rashford, [Ander] Herrera."