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Pogba and Mkhitaryan nearly joined Man Utd's rivals - agent

SoccerBy Sunday World
Pogba had an offer from a rival Premier League club
Pogba had an offer from a rival Premier League club

Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan came close to joining rival Premier League clubs before they sealed summer moves to Manchester United, their agents have revealed.

Super-agent Mino Raiola finalised deals for Pogba and Mkhitaryan to move to Old Trafford, but he has confirmed that his star clients were close to joining other Premier League clubs.

“We had two offers from the Premier League and two outside," Raiola told the Daily Mail.

“Paul said United was in his heart, Woodward wanted him at United a year ago and Mourinho had wanted him at Chelsea too, so when the two combined we knew it was right.

“For the player, Real Madrid would have been easier, La Liga, Champions League, but he wanted the greater challenge.”

Mkhitaryan was strongly linked a move to Arsenal earlier in 2016, but he ended up at United after sealing a move from Borussia Dortmund.

“Mkhitaryan was more complicated. We had almost agreed with another Premier League club but Dortmund wouldn’t let him go, then United pushed it over the line," said Raiola.

The agent went on to praise United’s proactive business in the market, having seen the club also sign another of his clients, the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Jose Mourinho identified four key positions to strengthen following his appointment as United’s manager in May and signed players in all four roles prior to the start of the season.

“I think Manchester United showed the world this summer that they were not going to stand still, they want to be the best,” he added.

“They sent out a message with the transfers they did that this is the biggest club in the world.

“I always say to my players we go where we are needed. United will always be one of the biggest clubs in the world whether by reputation or balance sheet.

“Yes, Manchester United had no Champions League and weren’t champions but they needed us the most.”