Pep Guardiola dropped a bombshell of a news item earlier today, saying that super agent Mino Raiola personally offered him Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the January transfer window. Sensational, absolutely - especially given the timing of the comments - but let’s look at this a bit closer.
On one hand you have Pep, a notorious shit-stirrer, lighting a massive fuse under United ahead of the Manchester derby while attempting to deflect accurate criticism of their Champions League failure at Anfield two nights ago. Pep and Jose Mourinho have never been on the best of terms, and the financial clout these two clubs yield and proximity to one another make the butting of heads inevitable.
On the other hand, what if this actually happened? We all know that Mkhitaryan eventually moved to Arsenal in the January transfer window, and that Pogba’s return visit to United has gone as poorly as possible. His form this season has led him to be dropped in favor of Scott McTominay as of late, something completely unfathomable when Pogba moved back to United in the summer of 2016 from Juventus. If Raiola wanted to send shockwaves through United regarding the displeasure of his most-valuable player, an incredibly easy way would be to offer his client to their closest rivals.
Since Pep said what he did, both Pogba and Raiola have denied this exchange ever happening. Which again, may be the case since the agent and Guardiola fell out years ago following the failed Zlatan Ibramovich Barcelona Experience - what better way to further your client’s negotiating power while also using a guy you despise as an innocent pawn in it all? But at the same time, it’s clear Mkhitaryan was being offered about by Raiola, so the odds he also offered Pogba about the league and continent, while slim, is feasible.
At any rate, how this story ends I couldn’t care less. That is, unless they challenge each other to an old-timey duel in a city square. Then I could care less, and I would absolutely love to see that unfold in person.