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Mourinho hopes Pogba gains from World Cup success

France's Paul Pogba celebrates with the trophy after winning the World Cup (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho thinks Paul Pogba was “absolutely brilliant” during France’s World Cup campaign and hopes the midfielder “understands why” he played at the level he did.

Pogba helped Les Bleus win the tournament in Russia, with the final seeing him score as Croatia were defeated 4-2 in Moscow.

Mourinho, who left the 25-year-old out of his first XI at times last season, spoke about Pogba on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

The Portuguese said: “To win the World Cup can only be a positive thing.

“I can only imagine that is only positive, is amazing, is fantastic. So many good players never had the chance to be world champions.

“For Paul, I think to be world champion can only be fantastic.

“I think the future for him in the French national team, amongst that fantastic group of players, can only be brilliant, and I hope that he understands why he was very good.”

Mourinho was speaking on United’s pre-season tour.

He added, according to “I think that’s the point about his performance level and his contribution to a winning team – it’s for him to understand why he was so good, especially in the second part of the competition, quarter-finals, semi-finals, the final, where he was, in my opinion, absolutely brilliant.”

Also regarding the man he signed for £89million in the summer of 2016, Mourinho said: “I did with Paul what I did with all my players.

“I sent a nice message before the World Cup and during it I did not disturb anyone.

“They needed to focus on the job for their national team. After the World Cup I sent a different message than to the other guys because he won the competition.”

Mourinho said pre-season was not proving ideal in terms of the senior absentees.

He added: “Pre-season is very bad, I have to say that. It’s positive for the young boys that have the fantastic opportunity to train with us and know what it is to be a United player, the chance to play against fantastic players. And my coaching staff, with three new staff it’s good for them to adapt to my needs and start working in a new reality.”

While Pogba is having a post-World Cup break, Alexis Sanchez did not fly out with United for their United States tour at the weekend because of what the club said was a “personal administrative issue” which it was hoped would soon be resolved to allow him to join the party at a later date.

Sanchez was absent from the party which headed across the Atlantic on Sunday amid speculation that there was an issue with his visa after he accepted a 16-month suspended sentence in Spain over a tax issue.

Mourinho said of the Chilean on Wednesday: “It’s really bad and he’s really sad.

“It’s not good for him and not good for me, or for the team. There is no-one to blame. I know the club is making the effort but the US authorities have their processes.

“Hopefully, he can at least join us later because it is important to work with Juan Mata, Alexis and Anthony Martial, who we think are the players we have for the start of the season. There is no (Romelu) Lukaku, (Marcus) Rashford or (Jesse) Lingard (all of whom were involved in the World Cup semi-finals).”

Mourinho also said full-back Diogo Dalot, signed last month from Porto, will be unavailable for the start of the season and that it is expected the injured Portugal Under-21 international will be “ready for September”.

He said: “Dalot is injured. We knew that but we didn’t want to lose him because of that. He is recovering really well.

“We think he can start training with the team when we go back to England. He is not going to be ready for the start of the season but we think he’ll be ready for September.”

David De Gea, Nemanja Matic and new signing Fred are set to join up with the squad next week. United face Club America in the opening fixture of the tour on Friday.

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