Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has possibly opened a can of worms after detailing quite the revelation.
The Spaniard, who was labelled ‘a coward, a dog’ by super-agent Mino Raiola last month, has hit back at the deal broker with a shocking bit of dirt.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the weekend’s Manchester derby, Guardiola claimed that Raiola offered him both Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan only a few months ago.
“I will answer him; I don’t understand why I am,” he said when questioned over the agent’s assessment (via 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.”
Mkhitaryan has since joined Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez has gone the other way, but Pogba is currently embroiled in a perceived row with Jose Mourinho, who has kept him out of the team in a few recent matches.
If Pogba and Mkhitaryan were indeed put on offer in January, that would have been before the much-publicised Mourinho/Pogba problems arose. That, in itself, puts Raiola in a very bad light.
Guardiola also branded Pogba an ‘incredible player’ but admitted that he refused the offer as City did not have the money to take him off United’s books.
“Pogba is an incredible player, top, top player,” he added. “I said no, 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.”
Raiola has since denied Guardiola’s claims, while a tweet from Pogba on Friday seemed to suggest that he was in the dark if such a thing did occur.
“I never spoke to Pep Guardiola,” Raiola declared. “I would not speak to him about players, I would speak to Manchester City. They are a fantastic club with a fantastic manager.”
Well, it’s probably going to be down to who you believe, but this could get even more entertaining if Mourinho joins the conversation.