Mino Raiola is a controversial figure and one of the most prominent ‘super-agents’ who has brokered some of the biggest transfer deals in the world.
When Dennis Bergkamp swapped Ajax for Inter Milan in the early nineties, Raiola was his agent. When Manchester City signed Robinho for an eye-watering £32m in 2010, the Italian was at the centre of the deal.
His client list is extensive and over the past few years, he’s had several dealings with Manchester United. He was Zlatan Ibrahimović’s agent when he made his move to Old Trafford. When Romelu Lukaku joined from Everton, Raiola was acting on the player’s behalf.
Another of his clients is French midfielder Paul Pogba, a player who divides opinion at Old Trafford. Some feel he’s a real talent and a player of world-class proportions, but an increasing number of fans are keen to see the back of his disruptive influence.
bwin Sports’ Manchester United Transfer Odds suggests the club are favourites to land the likes of Declan Rice and Harry Maguire this summer, neither of whom are represented by Raiola. That might be a wise strategy going forward given recent events; with him currently involved in the ongoing transfer saga involving Pogba as he engineers another move away from United.
It’s not the first time the 51-year-old has been at the centre of controversy when it comes to United. He was representing Pogba as a 19-year-old and as reported by the Independent, he told then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson that the wage on offer wouldn’t suit one of his Chihuahuas.
Sir Alex enquired where the wage should be and received no reply, reportedly ending in a four-letter tirade by the Scot.
Fast forward a few seasons and Raiola was again the subject of criticism by United fans. He was at the centre of the deals to bring Zlatan and Pogba back to the Red Devils, but in doing so he made a small fortune all of his own.
A story by ESPN claims he bought the former home of gangster Al Capone and there are some who feel that him getting rich off the back of a player’s success and a club’s desire to win trophies is just as criminal as anything the notorious gangster ever did.
He is now up to his old tricks once again, claiming this week that Pogba has been respectful at all times during his latest attempts to get out of Old Trafford.
“The player [Pogba] has done nothing wrong,” he said in a statement released via talkSPORT.
“He has been respectful and professional in every way and always. The club has known his feeling for a long time.
“It is a shame other people only like to criticize without the right information, and I am also sorry that the club does not take any position against this.”
It’s interesting that he still seems to be acting on Pogba’s behalf as he’s currently the subject of a three-month ban in Italy for unspecified reasons, meaning any move for Pogba couldn’t possibly be to Serie A, unless it came after the start of the season.
Whatever does happen, the agent’s influence is certainly not welcome any more at Old Trafford. Sir Alex had enough of his antics and a Manchester Evening News’ article on him recently demonstrated that the fans have too.
That’s not likely to faze the super-agent though as he looks to trouser another huge windfall from yet another Paul Pogba move.