A glance at Mino Raiola’s CV is enough to prove his status as one of the most powerful agents in world football right now.
The Italian-born Dutchman was in charge of Pavel Nedved’s affairs for much of the Czech international’s career, while his present clients are equally as impressive.
In addition to the likes of Mario Balotelli, Romelu Lukaku and Blaise Matuidi, Raiola’s most high-profile clients are Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba.
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Given the three men arrived at Manchester United in the most recent transfer window, it is safe to assume Raiola has become a somewhat familiar face around Old Trafford.
In an interview with Financial Times, the 48-year-old has revealed not only behind-the-scenes details of the Pogba deal, but also his thoughts on some of the Red Devils’ questionable transfer activity 12 months prior.
When Louis van Gaal signed Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial at the beginning of last season, Raiola claims he was certain the duo would not succeed.
“Not if you have to perform now,” he says.
“Martial and Depay come in and say, ‘We have to carry Manchester United, a giant institute?’ So already last year I told the people at United, ‘You’ll have to put in a guy like Zlatan to restore the balance.’ Then the attention goes to Zlatan. He has the experience, and dares take the responsibility.”
The fact Ibrahimovic did end up joining United the following summer underlines the influence Raiola seems to have at Old Trafford.
Considering he was the man behind the £89 million deal to bring Pogba back to the club, one would think he must have earned himself a handsome cut from the world-record transfer.
However, despite claiming he spent two years setting up the move, Raiola insists he only receives a portion of his players’ salary rather than a huge payout as reported by the media.
“I can’t talk about the contract but, in a deal like Pogba’s, it’s not just the clubs who earn from it,” he says.
No matter which part of the transfer process his income stems from, there is little doubt he is must be making a decent living being one of top agents in the game.