Pep Guardiola has revealed that Mino Raiola offered him the chance to sign Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan over the January transfer window.
Raiola has brokered deals to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku to Old Trafford during Jose Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford.
He most recently played a fundamental role in the swap deal involving Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez in January.
And Guardiola, in a truly strange and impassioned monologue ahead of his side’s clash with Manchester United, noted that Raiola, who he is not the biggest fan of, canvassed the idea of selling Pogba and Mkhitaryan to Manchester City just two months ago.
“I will answer him; I don’t understand why I am,” he said. “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.”
“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. 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.”
Admirers of Raiola will often note how the super-agent does everything possible, bending the rules if necessary, to get the best deal for his clients. The power he wields allows for the biggest, most noteworthy deals of any given transfer window to happen under his close supervision.
But there is an unquestionable evil streak to Raiola. You get the impression from Guardiola, whose entire presser is worth watching, that the agent was acting alone and not under the guidance of Jose Mourinho by any stretch, testing the waters for yet another transfer that would see him earn a seven-figure sum and place him at the forefront of the news.
There seems to be no regard for what his clients feel, or indeed the stance of managers and board members. If you mentioned those factors to him, he’d probably just say: “Ah, “f*** them”.