Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Paul Pogba will retain the captaincy for the club's Premier League clash with Brighton on Sunday afternoon, explaining that he 'couldn't be happier' with the Frenchman after ongoing rumors of a bust-up.
Pogba's United future has been the talk of the tabloids more than ever this week.
Earlier this week, The Sun alleged that an 'extraordinary bust up' had left 'fractured relationship at all-time low'. Elsewhere, a Daily Star headline read, 'Barcelona not giving up Paul Pogba chase as Jose Mourinho relationship sours'.
And a story from the Daily Mail even claimed, that the World Cup winning Frenchman 'has his heart set on forcing transfer to Barcelona' no matter what happens with Mourinho.
In an unusual step, United actually responded to the stories about the alleged 'bust up', contacting Sky Sports reporter James Cooper, who revealed, "They are angry, they're incensed, they're telling me there was no bust up between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba. The reports of this are absolute nonsense. The relationship between the two people is good."
Now, speaking in front of the media at a pre-match conference on Friday afternoon ahead of the upcoming trip to the south coast, Mourinho has plainly reiterated his faith in Pogba.
"I couldn't be happier with him than I am now," the United boss upon confirming that it would be Pogba leading the team out once more after wearing the armband against Leicester last week.
United will still be without usual skipper Antonio Valencia on Sunday. The Ecuadorean has returned to full training following a pre-season injury but won't be fit enough for selection, Mourinho confirmed. The same goes for Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic.
"[They are] fully fit, but not yet [ready] to play or even to be selected," he said of the trio.
"Our training has been really, really good all week and we go [to Brighton] to win, obviously. That is our main objective. [Brighton] lost their first match, so they are working for a reaction, they are working to improve their game, so it will be a difficult match for us, but we are confident."