While Manchester United's 2-1 victory over Chelsea FC in the Premier League on Monday night was something for which they deserved some credit, the continual digs from Italian super agent, Mino Raiola, have made lives difficult for the higher authorities in the Mancunian club.
Mino Raiola and his 'super-agent' status
Super-agent is one of the most powerful and effective person in the modern era of football, who conducts big-money moves for the players, and along the way, fills his pocket with impressive profits.
Just like some of the other super-agents, the Italy-born Dutchman, Mino Raiola, has made an reputation in the world's football. Some of his popular clients are Mario Balotelli, Hirving Lozano, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Moise Kean, Blaise Matuidi, Lorenzo Insigne, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Matthijs de Ligt, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.
As a result of having the aforementioned players as his clients with 62 others, Raiola has been one of the most influential personas in today's world football and thus possesses an extreme level of negotiating power.
According to Forbes, Raiola conducted negotiated deals, featuring more than $700 million, and the valuation still continues to grow up. There is a report where it is stated the super-agent made an enormous profit of €27 million (£22m) when Pogba moved from Juventus to join Manchester United in 2016. Hence, it would not be too harsh to say that Raiola could do anything to get a deal over the line.
What has been the case so far?
On Monday, just before the Chelsea game, Raiola came up with several statements on his official Instagram handle where his target was Manchester United manager - Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
In the post, he mainly replied to Solskjaer's recent comments on Paul Pogba that - Paul is our player and not Mino's. Taking a dig at the Norweigan, Raiola tried to suggest that the boss should not think that 'Paul is his prisoner'. After the Chelsea game when Solskjaer was asked about Raiola's post, he answered,
"I don't have to comment about Mino Raiola through the media, I can talk to him myself".
On the next day, the agent of Paul Pogba replied to Solskjær's post-match comments via TalkSport by saying,
“I thought that what Solskjær said was out of line. Obviously he took apart sentences for an interview of mine and acted offended that I’d offered Paul Pogba to clubs without permission or whatever."
Not only did Raiola take his aim at Solskjær, but he also hit back Gary Neville after the Manchester United legend criticised the agent for making public comments on Pogba's departure. On the same TalkSport show, Riola said,
“Gary Neville has such a big know-how of football that I’m surprised his Salford City is not in the Premier League already. He should maybe be on the board of directors at Manchester United. Maybe he should ask them for a job. I don’t care what Gary Neville says.”
What could the possible way to end this verbal feud?
With Manchester United travelling to Belgium to face Club Brugge in the round of 32 of UEFA Europa League next Thursday, Ole might be asked questions regarding Paul Pogba and Mino Raiola in the pre-match press conference.
The best thing Solskjær could do to stop this feud is to ignore all of those questions because the strife would continue and things would go from bad to worse if one of the sides does not stop passing comments regarding this matter. Ultimately, the verbal conflict would affect Manchester United more than Raiola. United are in Europa League not Raiola, United need to do the talking on the pitch.
If reports surrounding the club are to be believed, Paul Pogba is targetting the Manchester derby on 8th March to make his return from a long-term injury. As per what the agent has said so far, Pogba wants to leave Manchester for a new challenge. And the best thing what United could do for Pogba is to let him go in the approaching summer transfer window.
Then, the Red Devils could go in the market and spend the fee from Pogba's sale to make new acquisitions. And hence, they might be able to put an end to this argument forever.