Jose Mourino and Paul Pogba should resolve their differences in private and not through the media, according to former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.
The relationship between the United boss and his most expensive player has become increasingly strained in recent days.
Pogba, who reportedly wants to leave Old Trafford and join Barcelona, said after Saturday’s home draw with Wolves that United should “attack, attack, attack”, leading to Mourinho stripping the midfielder of the vice-captaincy.
Mourinho denied any fall-out with Pogba but footage has emerged of a tense-looking discussion between the pair at training on Wednesday morning. The 25-year-old shook hands with coach Michael Carrick and another United employee, before looking taken aback by something Mourinho said.
Pogba was then seen having an apparently exasperated discussion with the manager.
Berbatov, a striker at Old Trafford between 2008 and 2012, said in a Betfair press release: “If you are a captain or vice-captain, you’re more often than not speaking on behalf of the players, and there is nothing wrong with giving the manager your thoughts.
“But this shouldn’t be done in the media – it helps nobody for these arguments to be played out in public. Apart from the media themselves of course!
“In modern football, players are very powerful, they are the stars of the show. It’s normal for them to have opinions, but they need to be backed up.
“I’m really surprised it has got to this stage. This sort of thing really needs to be kept in-house. You’re all grown-ups, figure it out in the dressing room.
“For Mourinho to have gone as far as removing the vice captaincy, Pogba must have provoked him – whether it was the comments after the Wolves game or something else. But these arguments affect everybody else and start having an impact on the pitch.
“As someone who wants Manchester United to do well, I’m fed up of waking up and seeing these headlines. Football should be about what happens on the pitch, not who has the biggest d***. It’s a stupid situation.”