Guardiola claims Pogba was offered to Man City in January window

Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were offered to Manchester City by their agent in January, manager Pep Guardiola has claimed.

Guardiola said the pair’s agent, Mino Raiola, contacted him and told him that both players were available.

Pogba, who joined United for a then record £89m in the summer 2016, stayed at Old Trafford but Mkhitaryan moved Arsenal as part of a swap deal in involving Alexis Sanchez.

Raiola told BBC Sport that he did not speak to Guardiola but did not deny telling City of the duo’s availability.

United said they would not have sold Pogba to their nearest rivals.

In his news conference before Saturday’s Manchester derby – a game in which City can win the Premier League title if they are victorious – Guardiola was asked for his view on reports that Raiola called him “a coward” and a “dog” for the way he treats people.

Guardiola said: “Two months ago he offered me Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us.

“Comparing [me to] a dog is bad – it’s not good. He has to respect the dogs.”

The Spaniard refused to say if he was actually interested in Pogba but said that the France star “is an exceptional player, a top, top player.”