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06th Apr 2018

Pep Guardiola claims he was was offered both Pogba and Mkhitaryan in January


Darragh Murphy

It takes a lot to frazzle Pep Guardiola.

But Guardiola is clearly furious with super-agent Mino Raiola because the Manchester City manager has sensationally revealed that he was offered the chance to sign both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba in January.

Guardiola understandably took umbrage after being described as “a dog” by Raiola last week, with the pair’s feud dating back several years.

Nobody was more surprised by the comments than Guardiola, as he lifted the lid on Raiola’s desire to broker deals which would see clients Mkhitaryan and Pogba move across Manchester to the Etihad a couple of months ago.

Mkhitaryan ended up signing for Arsenal in a deal which saw Alexis Sanchez move in the opposite direction while Pogba, who has been rumoured to have had issues with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho throughout this season, remains at Old Trafford.

After admitting that some of his biggest rivalries are with agents, Guardiola discussed his personal problems with Raiola, which are believed to have started when Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is also represented by Raiola, left Barcelona following a much-publicised difference of views with Guardiola.

“I will answer him [Raiola]; I don’t understand why I am,” Guardiola said, as quoted by the Guardian. “Finally, the people discover my secrets – a bad guy. I’m a coward.

“I don’t understand why I am a so bad guy. I never speak with him so his opinion [about me], I don’t know. But being a guy who two months ago offered me Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us. Why?

“Why he offer? He was interested in Mhikitaryan and Pogba to play with us? So he has to protect his players and has to know he cannot bring the players to a guy like me, like a dog. And comparing a dog is bad. It’s not good. He has to respect the dogs.”

Upon being asked for his opinion on Pogba, with whom he will come face-to-face during the Manchester derby on Saturday evening, Guardiola was full of praise for the French midfielder but admitted that the funds simply weren’t available to bring Pogba in.

“I said no,” he said. “We don’t have the money enough to buy Pogba because he is so expensive. I’m surprised because I am a dog. He wants his players to come to here. So, no. No way.”

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