Pogba captains Manchester United in Premier League opener

Manchester United's Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santo 'Fred' during the preseason International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at the Michigan Stadium. (Pic by David

"It was not easy to manage the game from the touchline, but I told the players we had good periods, lots of glimpses of the type of football we wanted to play".

"It's time just to say "tomorrow we have a Premier League match" and we have to play to win it".

"It is hard for me to understand, to feel, to believe we finish second - which I keep saying, and it is sometimes hard to believe".

Chelsea let the Serbian defensive midfielder leave for £35m last summer - and he enjoyed a remarkably consistent debut season at Old Trafford.

"Yeah I think it has been a long time since we won the league and it would mean more than ever to win that", he explained.

Pogba played a key role for France as Didier Deschamps' men triumphed in Russian Federation last month, though his participation in the latter stages of the tournament meant he was late in joining up with his club colleagues. "It depends on the music, but words for me don't come easy".

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"In this moment, words are not important. You will see which teams are candidates".

Although he waned towards the end of the game, Pogba took his penalty very well early on to put United 1-0 up and played a number of unsafe passes into United's forwards as the Red Devils looked to counter-attack in the second half.

Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng, Yerry Mina, Diego Godin and Raphael Varane were all linked, but no deals materialised in the window. The player's agent believes his client must join Barcelona as he could earn more at the La Liga. The only one top-level conversation between the clubs was Spurs enquiring about two of United's players.

Jose Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure in pre-season as United's transfer business stalled following the World Cup, and the Red Devils were unimpressive on tour (a 2-1 win over Real Madrid aside).

"My perception? He arrived Monday, happy, proud, with a desire to work", the United boss said of the club-record signing.

"Sir Alex has already set a winning formula throughout his time at the club, and for some reason, we brought in managers who were trying to change that". But it's the same conversation as with (Ashley) Young, (Marouane) Fellaini, (Jesse) Lingard, it's the same.

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