Paul Pogba was axed by Jose Mourinho after the Manchester United manager and his coaching staff were shocked by the player’s lack of commitment against Crystal Palace.
Mourinho complained about a shortage of heart and desire from his team after the goalless draw at Old Trafford last weekend, but it is understood that he felt particularly let down by Pogba, who was replaced 22 minutes from the end following a limp performance.
United’s £89million record signing was dropped to the bench alongside Romelu Lukaku for Tuesday’s Champions League win over Young Boys before coming on as a 64th-minute substitute.
Even then, Pogba had to run back to the side of the pitch to hand over a necklace he had forgotten to take off.
Club insiders believe it was another example of Pogba’s lack of focus as he continues to frustrate those around him.
The Frenchman surprised United staff by arranging for a stylist to visit him at the Lowry Hotel to cut his hair on Friday night when they felt he should have been concentrating on the Palace game.
Hours earlier, an interview with Mourinho emerged in which he spoke broadly about ‘spoilt kids’ in modern society and complained about the effect a footballer’s entourage can have on him.
‘The people who surround the players protect them too much, give them — in my opinion — too much care, too many excuses,’ he said. ‘Everyone always has an excuse. People are maturing more slowly.’
Sportsmail revealed last December how members of United’s support staff had to be sent to Pogba’s house in Cheshire to get him out of bed after he failed to turn up for training at Carrington.
It remains to be seen if the 25-year-old midfielder — who was dropped for both legs of the Champions League last-16 tie against Sevilla last season — is restored to the line-up for the Premier League trip to Southampton on Saturday.