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Pep Guardiola Says Manchester City Have Not Been Offered Paul Pogba Again

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 07:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United speaks with Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City after the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said the club have not recently been offered the chance to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United

The two local rivals meet on Wednesday at Old Trafford in what is a key derby match. City know a win will take them back to the top of the Premier League table, whereas the Red Devils need to keep pace in the battle for a top-four finish.

Ahead of the match, Guardiola was asked about comments he made before a showdown between the teams last season about Pogba potentially being offered to the Premier League champions and if it's happened again.

"No," he said on Tuesday when the topic was brought up again, per Ryan Benson of Goal. "No, no, definitely not. He's a player for Man United."

In April 2018, Guardiola was speaking about Pogba's agent Mino Raiola, with whom he has endured a frosty relationship with previously, and his comments calling the City manager a "dog."

"Two months ago he offered me [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us," Guardiola said, per BBC Sport. "Comparing [me to] a dog is bad—it's not good. He has to respect the dogs."

In the game that followed, Pogba was key to United launching a tremendous comeback, as he scored twice to level after City scorched into an early lead. Chris Smalling then grabbed the winner for United in a 3-2 victory.

If the Red Devils are to spring a surprise again on Wednesday, Pogba will need to be at his best. The midfielder has been speaking about how the team needs to respond following Sunday's 4-0 loss to Everton:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

“We disrespected the fans. You need to give everything on the pitch" @paulpogba sat down to reflect on a tough week for @ManUtd ahead of tomorrow's Manchester Derby, live on Sky Sports. Watch full exclusive interview with Pogba: https://t.co/QUgYqDbJM8 https://t.co/1CTTNoabhw

Although his form has been inconsistent this season, in recent weeks the Frenchman has had a big influence on games at Old Trafford:

Premier League @premierleague

Man Utd's @paulpogba has been involved in 9 goals in his last 8 #PL matches at Old Trafford (8 goals, 1 assist) #MUNMCI https://t.co/pif6gpuvfw

Going into the match, there is significant speculation regarding Pogba's long-term future and a possible transfer this summer.

According to L'Equipe (h/t Football Espana), the midfielder has made it clear he wants a move and has informed team-mates of the decision. Real Madrid are said to be interested in the former Juventus man, who is reportedly unhappy with life in Manchester.

As football writer Liam Canning noted, the speculation about Pogba has been incessant as of late:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Do French newspapers ever stop banging on about Pogba wanting to leave? Same news every single day.

While Pogba can be a frustrating player, he's a key man for United, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would not want to lose him as he seeks to build an improved side for next term.

Guardiola was quick to shut down any talk of any tentative links to Pogba. Although it would be intriguing to see the France international work under the City coach, there is no chance that United would sell to their city rivals.

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