Sensational claim from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby. Guardiola claims that in January, Mino Raiola, the agent for both Paul and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, offered Manchester City both players. A move that will not go over well with the Manchester United board.
Guardiola made his amazing statement after being asked whether Jose Mourinho still represented a fierce rival, given the history between the two which reached a boiling point when they managed Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively.
‘I have many rivals especially agents,’ Guardiola said. ‘I have a lot. I am a big boss. I’ll give you a huge list of my big rivalries, believe me.’
The City manager was then asked whether he was referring to Mino Raiola, the super agent who represents both Pogba and Mkhitaryan. Guardiola and Raiola were involved in a bitter war of words during Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s time at Barcelona and the Super Agent recently branded the soon to be Premier League winner a ‘dog’ and a ‘coward’.
“I could answer him. I have a question, yeah, I will answer him, come on. Okay,’ Guardiola said before making his claim:
‘I don’t understand why I am so… I agree with him. I am not a… Finally, the people discover my secrets; I am a bad guy. I’m a coward. I don’t understand why I am a so bad guy.
‘I never speak with him (Raiola) so his influence on my opinion, so I don’t know maybe Ibra explain many things about me. ‘But being a guy like two months ago he offered me Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us. Why?
‘Why he offer? He was interested in Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us? ‘So I’m like a guy, so he has to protect his players and he has to know so he cannot bring the players a guy like me, like a dog. And comparing a dog is bad. It’s not good. He has to respect the dogs.’
Asked what his reaction was to being offered Pogba, Guardiola added:
‘Pogba is an incredible player. A top, top player…I said no. ‘We don’t have the money enough to buy Pogba because he is so expensive.’
Soon after the news broke on Friday afternoon, the United midfielder took to Twitter to give his apparent take on proceedings, posting: ‘Say what?’