Tomorrow’s Manchester Derby was already poised to be a spicy affair full of drama and intrigue, but Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola just ratcheted things up a notch by claiming that he was offered the chance to sign Manchester United’s star midfielder Paul Pogba in January.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager was speaking to the press today ahead of tomorrow evenings clash at the Etihad, in which his side will have the chance to win the Premier League title with a record six games remaining.
Guardiola was today quizzed about comments made by super agent Mino Raiola who represents several players who have been transferred to Old Trafford in recent seasons like Zlatan Ibrahimović, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The controversial agent recently labelled the Man City manager a ”coward” and a ”dog,” due to his decision to sell Zlatan after just one season at Barcelona.
However, Guardiola hit back today and even made the sensational claim that Raiola offered City the chance to sign Paul Pogba, United’s record £89 million signing in January.
“Finally, the people discover my secrets, I’m a bad guy, I’m a coward,” Guardiola said.
“I don’t understand why I am such a bad guy. But being this guy, two months ago he offered me Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us. Why?”
“Why did he offer them? He was interested in Mkhitaryan and Pogba playing with us.”
“Pogba is an incredible player. A top, top player.”
“I said no. We don’t have the money enough to buy Pogba because he is so expensive.”
These comments will undoubtedly not have gone down well with Man United’s hierarchy and their manager Jose Mourinho, and simply adds yet another fascinating sub plot to what is one of the most eagerly anticipated Manchester Derbies in many years.