Super-agent Mino Raiola has been a thorn in Manchester United’s side for some time and that relationship appears to have deteriorated further over recent weeks.
The ongoing transfer saga with his client Paul Pogba has caused no end of headaches for the club and will likely end in him leaving the club.
Raiola hit out at United for blocking the France World Cup winner’s potential move to Real Madrid and seems to have been pushing for his Old Trafford exit for some time.
The agent was also involved in Erling Haaland’s move to Borussia Dortmund, which United were heavily linked with a deal for the teenage striker.
Reports suggest the Red Devils tried to cut out Raiola from the negotiations and wouldn’t agree to give him a share of any future transfer fee, something he has denied.
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Lingard is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of next season, so the timing suggests the England international could just be looking to get the best possible deal as he looks to continue his Red Devils career or he could be looking for a move elsewhere.
Sir Alex Ferguson famously was not a fan of Raiola for the way he engineered Pogba’s move to Juventus as a teenager and former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan slammed ‘parasitical turds’ like Raiola in a rant on talkSPORT.
“Recently Raiola been very critical of Manchester United and their overall strategy, their acquisition policy, their lack of a director of football, their lack of forward thinking – all of the areas that really aren’t any of his business,” he said.
“And now he’s now found himself recruiting one of their homegrown players in Jesse Lingard!
“It’s an interesting dynamic of what football has done to itself by allowing these people to have such influence, that they have moved beyond to just being flesh traders into the territory of actually having a concerted opinion about how football clubs as iconic as Manchester United should conduct themselves.
“And Raiola’s reward for those comments is to have players Manchester United have produced and developed now signing with him.
“I don’t believe agents have a right to comment on the business of football clubs, they have the right to comment about the affairs of their client.”
Raiola clearly carries a huge sway in world football because of his extensive client list that is ever growing.
He has even said he would not take any players to Manchester United in the future.
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Speaking to Italian news outlet La Repubblica, Raiola said: “Pogba’s problem is Manchester United. It’s a club out of touch with reality and without a sporting project.
“I wouldn’t take anyone there, they would even ruin Maradona, Pele and Maldini.
“Paul needs a club and a squad, one like Juventus was before.”
This means some of the most exciting players in world football will never play for Manchester United.
Here is a list of players who United fans can never expect to pull on their club’s shirt in the near future plus some ex-players who will likely not return to the club.
Some of Mino Raiola’s extensive client list
- Matthijs de Ligt
- Erling Braut Haaland
- Marco Verratti
- Gianluigi Donnarumma
- Moise Kean
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Lorenzo Insigne
- Romelu Lukaku
- Etienne Capoue
- Blaise Matuidi
- Hirving Lozano
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan
- Mario Balotelli
- Marcus Thuram
- Justin Kluivert
- Alessio Romagnoli
- Konstantinos Manolas
Raiola has accrued a vast amount of wealth due to his dealings as an agent and has been involved in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s numerous moves over the years, Denis Bergkamp’s move to Inter in 1993 and Frank Rijkaard’s transfer to AC Milan in 1998.
He reportedly made around £21million out of Paul Pogba’s transfer to Manchester United in 2016.
With that money he is said to have bought a £7.6million villa in Miami that was the former home to American gangster Al Capone, which is apt considering he has been labelled a ‘mafioso’ albeit tongue-in-cheek.
When he was looking for representation while at Ajax, Ibrahimovic was recommended by Dutch journalist Thijs Slegers.
“Mafioso sounds good,” Ibrahimovic recalled of his conversation before explaining he wasn’t really someone involved in organised crime.
“He just looked and acted like one. His name was Mino Raiola,” he wrote in his book, I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic.