Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hit back at Mino Raiola by sensationally claiming that the player agent had offered him Manchester United pair Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (who has since joined Arsenal) in January.
Italian Raiola, who represents both Pogba and Mkhitaryan, had previously attacked Guardiola, saying: “He [Guardiola] is a coward, a dog. He’s a classic priest. ‘Do as I tell you – don’t do what I do….’ If Manchester City win the Champions League this season it will emphasise what a good coach he is – but I’ll hate it.”
However, during the embargoed part of Friday’s press conference ahead of the Manchester derby, Guardiola (as relayed by Italian outlet Calcio Mercato), said: “This person (Raiola) offered me Mkhitaryan and Pogba two months ago.
“Exactly, two months ago he asked me if his players wanted to play for me and for Manchester City. I am not the kind of person that needs to protect his players, he can’t take me his players like I was a dog. Comparing me with a dog, then, it’s not nice. He must respect the dogs.”
Mkhtaryan joined United in the summer of 2016 from Borussia Dortmund for around £35m but had an inconsistent time at Old Trafford before being sold to Arsenal in exchange for Alexis Sanchez in January.
Pogba also arrived at the beginning of the 2016/2017 from Juventus for a then world record fee of £89m but it has not been all smooth sailing for the Frenchman.