Manchester United have been incredibly active in the transfer market since Jose Mourinho came on as manager in the summer of 2016. Since the decorated Portuguese manager’s arrival, United have acquired big-money players like Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and others.
There’s a lot to learn when placing a sports bet, but if you know what you’re doing there’s a decent amount of money to be made off United this Season.. However, first and foremost know that money doesn’t always buy titles. United have spent more money in the transfer market than any team in England since Mourinho arrived. While they do have an FA Cup, league cup and Europa League trophy to show for it, the Red Devils haven’t been in the Premier League title mix in Mou’s two seasons in charge despite entering both campaigns among the odds-on favorites.
The spending hasn’t yet paid off in terms of much Premier League success, which has led to a bit of squad shuffling. Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic barely lasted more than a season in Manchester as Mourinho has tried to find the right balance. Mkhitaryan was shipped to Arsenal as a part of the deal that brought Alexis to United, but was there a chance he could have been moved to Manchester City instead? If Pep Guardiola is to be believed, both Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba were offered to City in January. Super agent Mino Raiola recently blasted Guardiola in an interview with a Dutch magazine, calling the Spanish manager a “cowardly dog” for the way he treated Ibrahimovic when the two were together at Barcelona.
When asked about Raiola’s comments, Guardiola said, “I don’t understand why I am such a so bad guy. I never speak with him [Raiola] so his influence on my opinion, so I don’t know maybe for Ibra explained many things about me. But being a guy like two months ago [why did] he offer me Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us? Why did he offer them? He was interested in Mkhitaryan and Pogba playing with us. So, I’m like a guy, so he has to protect his players and he has to know so he cannot bring the players a guy like me, like a dog.”
There have been no reports that indicate United have been interested in selling Pogba just about a year-and-a-half removed from making him the world’s most expensive player in the summer of ‘16. Pogba has endured his fair share of struggles and criticism since coming back to England, but he’s also been dealing with injuries this season. The French midfielder is expected to start for United against City in the Manchester derby on Saturday.
Guardiola went on to say that Pogba is an “incredible player” but that City didn’t have the funds it would have required to steal him from their intracity rivals. Pep said, “I said ‘no.’ We don’t have the money enough to buy Pogba because he is so expensive. I’m surprised [he was offered] because I am a dog. So that’s why. So, like a dog, he comes to want his players to come here. So, no. No way.”
When asked whether he has a rivalry with Mourinho, Guardiola said, “I’ll give you a huge list of my big rivalries, believe me. I never won [against] Mourinho and he never beat me. Our teams beat the other ones, so I don’t play against Jose. He doesn’t play against me. Sometimes his teams, they beat me, sometimes I beat him, it’s simple like that. After that we are in our careers, we are still in the business and we’ll play 1,000 times more.”
City, of course, had the chance to clinch the Premier League title with a win over the Red Devils on Saturday.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Mourinho would have been willing to sell one of his most high-profile players to one of his club’s biggest rivals, but stranger things have happened.