Paul Pogba’s future has been the subject of speculation ahead of the summer
Pep Guardiola has revealed that super-agent Mino Raiola offered Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Manchester City in January.
Responding to criticism from Raiola last week in which he called Guardiola “a coward, a dog”, the City manager said he could not understand why somebody with a negative opinion of him would offer him these players.
The startling revelation came on the eve of Saturday’s Manchester derby at the Etihad – live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm – in which City can seal the title with victory over United.
Guardiola said: “I can answer him (Raiola). I don’t understand why I am such a bad guy. I never speak with him, so his opinion (about me) I don’t know.
“Two months ago, he offered me Mhkitaryan and Pogba to play with us. Why? Why did he offer if we are interested in Pogba and Mhkitaryan to play with us?
“He has to protect his players, so he has to know he cannot bring his players to me – a ‘dog’. And comparing to a dog is not good. It’s bad. He has to respect the dogs
Agent Mino Raiola called Guardiola “a coward, a dog”
“I have many rivals. Especially agents, I have a lot. I am a big boss, I can give you a huge list of my big rivalries.”
Guardiola has had a tumultuous relationship with Mourinho, and the revelation is unlikely to improve matters before their clash on Saturday, but the Catalonian insisted he will take no extra pleasure winning the title against the Portuguese.
Pogba still needs to mature and can learn from Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, according to Steve McClaren
“To win against United, I understand for the fans how special that can be, but at the end I am sorry,” he said. “I respect Jose a lot. When we started the season, we wanted to win the Premier League. The consequences are like this. It happens.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Arsenal on January 22 after falling out of favour under Jose Mourinho
“I never won against Mourinho, he never beat me. Our teams beat each other. I never played against Jose, he never played against me. After that we are still in the business and we are going to play a thousand times more.”