Jose Mourinho says he has "never been so happy" with Paul Pogba and the midfielder will stay as captain against Brighton and Hove Albion, despite his comments suggesting he is unsettled at Manchester United.
Pogba caused a stir following his man-of-the-match performance in last Friday's win over Leicester City, when he said he would always strive to perform for fans and team-mates but also claimed: "There are things I can say and there are things I cannot say... otherwise I will get fined."
The comments appeared to suggest disharmony at United, with the player and Mourinho reported to have a difficult relationship stemming from last season, when Pogba was dropped for key games against Liverpool and Sevilla.
Mourinho, though, insists he is delighted with the France star's efforts in training and has again hit out at reports he has ever argued with the former Juventus man.
"The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks and I've never been so happy with him as I am now. That's the truth," he said ahead of the clash with Brighton.
"I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him. He comes here on Monday [before the Leicester game], he trains for three days, I asked for his support, for his contribution in an important match for us when the team had difficulties, and he did it did better and for more time than we could expect.
"When he says he did it for the fans and for the team, it's exactly what I want, exactly what I demand from my players. He is working well, playing well, he does [it] for the fans, for the team, and that's what I want. I repeat, I couldn't be happier than I am."
Asked what he thought about Pogba's remarks after the 2-1 win over Leicester, Mourinho replied: "I don't care. I want him to play well, to play for the team, for the fans and that's what he did. He is working extremely well.
"I have to say, in his defence, write what you want about him, about me, [but] please don't say lies, please don't put him in a situation where people can think he is not a polite, educated guy, which he is.
"He is very polite, very educated, never had a fight with me. We never had a hard exchange of words. I have no problems at all."
Pressed further on what Pogba meant when he suggested he could be fined, Mourinho said the only player to receive such punishment in his time at Old Trafford is Anthony Martial, who is said to have angered his manager when he failed to return promptly to this year's pre-season tour of the United States following the birth of his second child.
"You have to ask Paul [what he meant]," said Mourinho. "I'm here for two years and a couple of months and the only player that was fined was Anthony Martial, so it is not easy to be fined here.
"I want him to work the way he is doing and play the way he is doing and that's all that matters."
Mourinho added that he expected another good display from Pogba against Brighton but stressed that a player he sees as future club captain "has the right to a bad match".
"I am very confident but if he doesn't [play well], that's football," he said.
"He has the right to a bad match. Everybody has a bad day, everybody goes up and down in performance level.
"Is he captain? No, the captain is [Antonio] Valencia. He was my choice, which was a process that started last season.
"We thought [about Pogba]: he's a young guy, good personality, made in the academy, normally a starting player, he has conditions to be a captain in future. I don't think Antonio will play in the next match so [Pogba] will be captain again."
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|
|Delph impressed by ´special´ Sancho|
|Bolt may give up on football career despite ´a lot of offers´|
|We´re better than Dortmund – Wagner urges Bayern to respond|
|Raptors fans give former coach Casey standing ovation in return|
|Martinez hails Hazard leadership|
|Muller going through ´difficult´ period, says Low|
|Betances wants Yankees to sign Machado|
|Rays´ Snell, Mets´ deGrom win Cy Young Awards|
|Dinwiddie to debut Stan Lee-inspired shoes against Heat|
|Iberostar Tenerife and Segafredo Virtus Bologna stay perfect in BCL|
|Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United|
|Red Sox give manager Cora contract extension through at least 2021|
|WATCH: Ronnie O´Sullivan hits blue with calamitous break-off shot|
|Matuidi: Mbappe has a great personality, like Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan|
|Cilic beats Isner to hand Djokovic semi-final spot|
|Mendy undergoes knee surgery|
|Warriors´ Curry will not play during three-game road trip|
|Ramos refuses to retaliate after Lovren jibe|
|Qatar pull off shock win over Switzerland|
|Tuilagi could make England return against Australia|
|Rooney has earned England reward - Sarachan|
|Croatia thrashing means nothing now – Luis Enrique|
|Chelsea and Everton among Arnautovic suitors, claims agent|
|TJ Watt hopes to win NFL sacks race with brother JJ|
|Modric defends Ramos after Lovren comments|
|Southgate hails ´outstanding´ Delph as he talks up England strength in depth|
|No war with Manchester United over Fellaini, insists Martinez|
|Rooney to wear number 10 shirt against USA and receive armband from Delph|
|I don´t feel pressure of Liverpool expectations, claims Klopp|
|Steelers´ Roethlisberger texted Bell but ´didn’t hear back´|
|Reus and Kroos to sit out Germany´s clash with Russia|
|Van Dijk happy to recommend De Ligt if Liverpool ask|
|Sauber announce launch of junior programme|
|No ´breathtaking tennis´ in Djokovic´s win against Zverev|
|Curran: England spinners will be key in Kandy|
|Djokovic charges past Zverev to move closer to ATP Finals progression|
|Messi is a football alien - Malcom|
|Sky´s the limit for Sancho, says Dortmund team-mate Pulisic|
|Radwanska retires from tennis at 29|
|Maybe one day - Pulisic open to Premier League move|
|Suso ´proud´ of Real Madrid speculation but happy at AC Milan|
|Betis president convinced Lo Celso will stay|
|Injured Holder out of Bangladesh tour|
|Germany face relegation, final spots up for grabs - Nations League state of play|
|James Rodriguez out for several weeks with knee injury|
|Curran´s brilliant fifty rescues England´s innings|
|Lenglet: No problem with Dembele at Barca|
|Townsend rings the changes for Springboks clash|
|Claudio Ranieri´s managerial career in Opta numbers|
|Mahmudullah´s first century in eight years boosts Bangladesh|
|Fellaini gets the chop ahead of 31st birthday|
|Maradona: Solari will not last at Real Madrid|
|Molinari: Race to Dubai success would not surpass Ryder Cup glory with Fleetwood|
|Dortmund star Sancho was a Bayern target, confirms Salihamidzic|
|Gerrard enjoying ´buzz´ of management|