Jose Mourinho claims he wasn’t aware of the fact that Paul Pogba would be suspended for Manchester United’s opening game of the season against AFC Bournemouth this Sunday.
The Football Association have confirmed the Frenchman has to observe a one game ban after picking up two yellow cards in last year’s Coppa Italia with Juventus. The second booking came in the final against AC Milan – his final game for the Old Lady.
Pogba is set to make his second Man United debut against Southampton on August 19 instead.
Speaking at a press conference, Mourinho noted that he wasn’t sure if an accumulation of bookings in Italy would lead to repercussions in the Premier League.
“I knew the situation with the yellow cards,” he said.
“I didn’t know at that time if an accumulation of yellow cards would bring a player to suspension.”
“I didn’t know if the suspension would be in Italian football, a suspension for the same competition, or the correspondent competition in England, the FA Cup.
“I didn’t know that, so I was waiting for the decision.”
In what has been a chaotic few weeks for both Pogba and United, this bizarre occurrence is somewhat fitting. Indeed, it is peculiar that bookings Italy’s domestic cup impinge on the Premier League like this, and yet in the eyes of the justice one could see how the decision is understandable: some sort of imposition must take place, after all.
But given that Pogba’s pre-season began in earnest less than a week ago (thanks to a mixture of taking France to the Euro 2016 final and the subsequent hysteria surrounding his potential move to Old Trafford), it was unlikely that the 23-year-old would have played a big role at Dean Court had he been available.