EPL 2016-17: Romero's Manchester United move was the gateway for Pogba deal, says Mino Raiola
Paul Pogba’s £89 million move to Manchester United broke all previous records and now, seems to be breaking the Premier League team too. The 23-year-old midfielder’s move back to his former club amid much speculation and publicity this transfer window was almost the perfect fairytale until the 2016-17 actually got underway.
Despite all the uncertainty about Pogba’s appropriate role and place in the team, the move has been a feather in the already over-populated cap of agent Mino Raiola who recently opened up about the details of the deal.
Mino Raiola is currently one of the most prominent and successful sports agents around who’s clientele is a who’s who of the football world and was quite forthcoming about how he pulled off such a historic transfer for his client, Paul Pogba in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail.
“I always say to my players we go where we are needed. United will always be one of the biggest clubs in the world whether by reputation or balance sheet. Yes, Manchester United had no Champions League and weren’t champions but they needed us the most,” said Raiola explaining the logic behind Pogba’s decision even though Real Madrid were keen on signing him.
The deal was further helped by the channels of communication that had been opened between himself and United when another one of his clients, Argentinian goalkeeper Sergio Romero made his move to the club.
“United had been talking to us for two years about Pogba. They had taken my player Sergio Romero and we had kept the lines of communication open.”
Raiola had always been confident of finding a new home for his French client as Pogba always attracted a lot of interest.
“We knew we had interest, we spoke to Juventus, they really wanted to try for the Champions League, they gave him the No 10 shirt and we said we would give it one more year. Then I worked on an exit plan. We had two offers from the Premier League and two outside.”
According to Raiola, it wasn’t really about the money for Pogba. His decision to be a United player was spurred by an urge to face bigger challenges in a place where he had previously failed to make a mark.
“Paul said United was in his heart, Woodward wanted him at United a year ago and Mourinho had wanted him at Chelsea too, so when the two combined we knew it was right. For the player, Real Madrid would have been easier, La Liga, Champions League, but he wanted the greater challenge.”
If a challenge was what he wanted, he surely got one as after the first few weeks, Pogba was faced with three consecutive defeats.