What do Paul Pogba and Gianluigi Donnarumma have in common?
They’re two of the best young footballers on the planet. They’ve both had spells with top Italian clubs. They could both win the Ballon d’Or one day in the future.
Oh, and they’re both represented by the colourful agent, Mino Raiola.
Raiola, who also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli among other high-profile stars, has come out in defence of Donnarumma this week after the 18-year-old decided against putting pen to paper on a contract extension with his current employers AC Milan.
"The situation had become too violent and hostile, so there was no way out," Raiola said as he spoke to Sky Sport Italia, Mediaset Premium and Rai Sport, per Goal. "We took a decision that we didn't want to take.
"It was nothing to do with money. We were threatened. Donnarumma's family was threatened, both with not playing anymore and threatened with death. You can't keep a player by threatening him.
"Now there is a genuine risk he could miss a year. His quality makes that improbable, but this is already on the verge of bullying.”
Milan fans threw fake money at Donnarumma on Sunday
The so-called ‘bullying’ took another turn on Sunday as scorned Milan fans threw fake notes as Donnarumma during Italy’s 2017 Under-21 European Championship opener against Denmark.
The match was temporarily halted as staff removed the paper away from his goal-mouth.
Behind the goal, incidentally, was a banner which read: ‘Dollarumma’.
Paul Pogba reacts to the footage on Twitter
Pogba has now reacted to the incident by posting an unexpected tweet.
Here’s what the Manchester United star has said…
“Donnarumma soon best in the 🌎 deserves only respect for all he's done until now 👊🏾 #forzaGigi”
Has Raiola told Pogba to post the tweet?
Cynics might suggest - and with good reason - that Pogba has only tweeted his support for Donnarumma because the unsettled Milan ‘keeper is a fellow client of Raiola’s.
Has Mino has a quiet word in the Frenchman’s ear?
We wouldn’t rule it out.
Either way, we don’t imagine Pogba’s tweet will reduce the Milan supporters’ anger levels.
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