O’Rourke described Mendes as ‘heavily influential’ and believes both the Portuguese and superstar client Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to have a say in the Red Devils’ managerial search.
What’s the latest news involving Manchester United’s managerial search?
The Premier League giants parted with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday following a shock 4-1 defeat to relegation-threatened Watford at Vicarage Road.
United claimed in a club statement that they will now be looking for an interim appointment until the end of the season, before deciding upon their next full-time manager.
The Old Trafford outfit were initially linked with bringing in former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino immediately.
However, it has since been reported that prizing him away from PSG now would be problematic, forcing United to stick to their original plan of making a temporary appointment.
Talks have already been held with former Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde and Rudi Garcia, who has managed Lille, Marseille, Roma and Lyon previously.
The Athletic, meanwhile, recently reported that Mendes has been offering up Julien Lopetegui, the former Porto and Spain boss, as Solskjaer’s replacement.
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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Cristiano and Jorge Mendes?
Reacting to the Lopetegui story, O’Rourke suggested to GIVEMESPORT that United star Ronaldo and his renowned agent Jorge Mendes, who has a close relationship with chief executive Woodward, will be trying to exert some influence over the club’s managerial search.
The journalist told GMS: “Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes are obviously heavily influential in football and Mendes has a close relationship with Woodward. So I’m sure they will be in his ear, maybe giving some suggestions, but I don’t think they will have the final say on who does become the new Man United manager.”
Why is Jorge Mendes such an influential figure?
Any top tier agent wields considerable power these days. They can hold clubs over hot coals when it comes to transfers and contracts, and if they aren’t happy about something they can relay that displeasure through how they manage their clients. In short, it’s best to keep them onside.
Mendes, though, is a particularly unique figure. Transfermarkt list Mendes’ agency company, Gestifute, as the fourth-most valuable stable of players in the world. His clients include Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabinho and Ruben Dias, so he has working relationships with three of the top clubs in English football.
Mendes also has close ties with the ownership at Wolves, who have signed a number of his clients including Ruben Neves, Nelson Semedo and Daniel Podence.
His association with Manchester United, meanwhile, stems back to when they first signed Ronaldo as a prodigy from Sporting Lisbon in 2003. He also worked on deals to bring Anderson and Angel Di Maria to Old Trafford, as well as infamous flop Bebe.