Premier League English

Pep Guardiola had “no regrets” for turning down Man Utd’s Paul Pogba


Manchester City was offered the chance to sign Manchester United’s Paul Pogba before, Pep Guardiola told reporters on the eve of the Manchester derby in April 2018. And the Spaniard insisted he had “no regrets” after rejecting the offer.

29-year-old Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and the broad strokes are that he is expected to leave Old Trafford after having failed miserably to flourish during his six-year spell in Manchester and winning just the EFL Cup and Europa League.

However there are some who believe Guardiola can do right by Pogba to get the best out of the Frenchman – his United links aside – as City are reportedly giving some thought to making a move for him.  Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also allegedly said to be showing interest in the World Cup winner although, truth be told, the Juve and Real rumors have been blowing hot and cold for quite a while already.

In April 2018 – on the eve of the Manchester derby – Guardiola told reporters the player’s late agent Mino Raiola had actually offered him the opportunity to bring Pogba to the Etihad three months earlier. The disclosure was made by the Spaniard after Raiola described Guardiola as “a coward” and “a dog”.

Responding with more than a hint of sarcasm to the insults, the Spaniard 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 [sarcasm].

“I don’t understand why I am a 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 [fellow United midfielder Henrikh] 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.”

Guardiola added: “Pogba is an incredible player… a top, top player… I said no [to the offer]. 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.”

Although it’s no secret that City have extremely deep pockets, Pep’s reason for rejecting the Pogba offer was because the club couldn’t afford to buy Pogba at the time, which is obviously laughable as an excuse. And this time around the rumor is again circulating that Pogba is again linked with a move to the Etihad and are now able to match his £300,000-a-week salary at United besides also offering him a glitzy signing-on bonus due to the lack of a transfer fee.

One can’t help but wonder what Guardiola’s true reaction would be this time now that the player’s controversial and caustic superagent isn’t around to poke his finger in the stew?