Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has sensationally claimed he was offered Manchester United’s Paul Pogba this season by the Frenchman’s agent Mino Raiola.
This astonishing claim comes just days after the super-agent launched a huge attack on Guardiola, calling him “a coward, a dog.”
Pogba has endured a frustrating season at Old Trafford and was dropped from the United starting XI in February.
And Guardiola said he was invited to sign the midfielder two months ago, hinting that an offer for Pogba was on the table during the January transfer window.
The City boss also claimed Raiola offered him Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who went on to join Arsenal in that window.
The Premier League champions-elect can secure the title with a win at home to Manchester United on Saturday, and Pogba is expected to start the game.
Responding to Raiola’s scathing attack, Guardiola said: “I will answer him; I don’t understand why I am.
“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 the offer? He was interested in Mkhitaryan 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.”
When asked about Pogba, Guardiola said he was incredible and a top top player, but was sarcastic when asked what he thought of the offer.
He added: “I said no. We don’t have enough money 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.”
Shortly after Guardiola’s comments became public, Pogba posted a tweet which appeared to respond to the City manager, tweeting: “Say what?”
Raiola’s dislike of Guardiola originates from the manager’s treatment of clients Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Maxwell at Barcelona.
Raiola said: “Pep Guardiola, the coach, is fantastic. As a person he’s an absolute zero. He’s 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.”
Guardiola was also asked who else he didn’t like and he admitted to there being a lot, but said he will reveal a list one day.
His City side take on United, who are managed by Jose Mourinho – another rival of Guardiola’s, but the Spaniard dismissed any suggestion that securing the Premier League title against the Red Devils would be sweeter because of this.
Guardiola said: “Listen, when we arrived here it’s OK, I understand: it’s Pep arrives and they are both together a year.
“But it’s now two years and nothing happened in a special way. What I want to feel is [winning] the toughest league by far.
“The most satisfaction is from what we have done with our team, to win the Premier League, to feel that title, if we are able to, and we will remember it.
“I remember when I was a young boy seeing Sir Alex Ferguson in the beginning win titles [with United] – that’s beautiful, that is what I want to live with my guys and celebrate it.
“Tomorrow if we don’t do it, OK … It’s not about Pep v José. In the end it’s 2018, we [will have been] the better team and that’s what we want to live if it happens.”