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Mourinho benches Pogba for Sevilla clash

Jose Mourinho has left Paul Pogba on the bench for Manchester United's Champions League last-16 first-leg fixture at Sevilla.

The France international has endured a difficult few weeks at United, stemming from a below-par performance in the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham on January 31.

Pogba and Mourinho were seen having a heated discussion during the second half of that match, shortly before the player was withdrawn.

He was subsequently left out of the starting XI in the Premier League meeting with Huddersfield Town, before returning and disappointing again in the 1-0 loss at Newcastle United.

Reports have since circulated claiming that Mourinho and Pogba's relationship has become strained, stories the coach labelled as "lies" in a news conference ahead of Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup victory over Huddersfield - a game United said Pogba missed due to illness.

Mourinho seemed to hint at Pogba returning to the starting XI at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan when he spoke to the media on Tuesday, but the former Juventus star has been left out in favour of Scott McTominay.

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Explaining Pogba's omission, Mourinho told BT Sport: "McTominay is working hard every day, he is feeling good and strong, he played the last match for 90 minutes and Paul last Saturday wasn't able to play and this is the kind of game where I think a player must feel 100 per cent.

"We are going to play with three midfielders and Paul can play in one of the two roles where Herrera and McTominay are going to play.

"Paul created some doubt by not playing on Saturday by his own decision, he was not feeling good and that created some doubt."