The buildup to the Manchester Derby is heating up! Pep Guardiola claimed on Friday that Mino Raiola offered Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to his team during the last transfer window, casting shadow over what has been happening behind the scenes of the club in the past few months.
Guardiola’s claims came after he was asked in press conference about Mino Raiola’s comments regarding himself. The famous football agent has branded the Spaniard “a coward and a dog” few weeks ago and Guardiola did not want to keep quiet.
Asked about Raiola, Guardiola said he does not understand the agent’s comments.
Why Would He Offer Them To Me?
“I will answer him; I don’t understand why I am [a coward]. 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.”
Considering that we are in early April, Guardiola certainly had last January in mind when he said “two months ago”. In the meantime, Mkhitaryan had left the club for Arsenal, but these quotes are quite interesting in regard to Pogba.
If Guardiola’s words are truthful, it means that Raiola offered Pogba to Manchester City during January, which would be before the alleged clash Pogba and Mourinho had. The problems for Pogba started after the 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, when the Frenchman was substituted after around just one hour of play. Since then, Pogba would either be substituted early into the second half or would not even start the match in matches afterwards.
Did This Have Anything To Do With Pogba Being Benched?
Yet, the match against Tottenham happened on the last day of January, therefore the last day of transfer window. Is there a possibility of Jose Mourinho finding out about all of the things Guardiola talked on Friday?
If so, everything Mourinho did in regards to Pogba would be an answer to Raiola more than the player himself. Whatever was the case, we will definitely hear the version of Raiola, if not even the manager too.
Pressed to talk about Pogba, Guardiola continued.
“Pogba is an incredible player … A top, top player. 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. I am not a good guy. He deserves his players to play with better guys. But, he knows as well I am a top manager. Thank you”, said Guardiola.
Soon after these comments became public, Paul Pogba tweeted something that could be in regards to this situation. “Say what?” read the comment from the French midfielder.