Pep Guardiola has revealed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s agent, Mino Raiola, offered the Armenian and Paul Pogba to Manchester City in January but Raiola is denying even speaking to Guardiola.
Mkhitaryan came to Arsenal in exchange for Alexis Sanchez and has spoken about his delight at moving to London.
“Two months ago he (Raiola) offered me (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us,” Guardiola told the press ahead of the Manchester derby which could see City lift the title against Jose Mourinho. “He was interested in Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us. Pogba is an incredible player. A top, top player.”
Raiola responded, telling the BBC, “I never spoke to Pep Guardiola.
“I would not speak to him about players; I would speak to Manchester City.”
Whether or not Pep is merely playing mind games with United ahead of the crunch tie on Saturday evening, it’s hard to tell.
Mhitaryan could well have been offered to City before a deal was done to bring him to Arsenal. The player was clearly not happy at United under Mourinho, who bought him and then never seemed to want to use him properly.
The Armenian seems happy enough with where he has ended up. He recently told FourFourTwo, “When I heard I could swap Man United for Arsenal, I said, ‘Yes, I want to do that’, I didn’t think twice. It’s important for me to play in an offensive team.
“I couldn’t have imagined a better start. I’d missed playing offensively. I joined Arsenal because Wenger wanted me, not because he wanted to replace Sanchez. We are different players and characters, with different abilities and skills, so I’ll try my best to do everything for the club.”
Since moving to Arsenal, Mkhitayran has recaptured some of the form that saw him catch the attention of the world while at Borussia Dortmund. In 63 games with United, Mkhitaryan managed 13 goals and 11 assists. He already has two goals and six assists in just 12 matches for Arsene Wenger.
The midfielder is facing an anxious wait to find out how bad his knee injury is. Hit by a hard tackle against CSKA Moscow, Arsene Wenger confirmed that the player has some sort of ligament damage and the club are just waiting to find out how bad it is and how long he will be out for.