EPL 2016/17: Mino Raiola alleges Sir Alex Ferguson called him a twat during Paul Pogba's contract negotiations
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba made his return to Old Trafford this summer along with 2 more of super-agent Mino Raiola’s clients, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. What many do not know, however, is that Pogba’s first spell at the club featured a heated exchange between Sir Alex Ferguson and Raiola, one that would ultimately lead to him leaving the English giants for Juventus.
Mino Raiola has now opened up on the events that happened behind the scenes that saw the talented French midfielder reject a contract extension and leave Old Trafford after making only 3 appearances for the Red Devils; a deal that would come to haunt United 4 years later when they had to smash the world transfer record to bring him back to the Theatre of Dreams for £89 million.
Back in 2012, when discussions were ongoing to hand Pogba a lucrative new contract that would see him sign a 3-year deal with an optional 1-year extension, the legendary United boss apparently refused to speak to Raiola without Pogba being in the same room.
Ferguson wanted to know why the prodigy, who had at the time played only 3 league games, was going to turn down the deal.
Raiola told the Financial Times that Ferguson asked Pogba, “Do you want to sign this contract?”
The Frenchman replied, “We’re not going to sign this contract under these conditions.”
‘Contract was not fit for a Chihuahua’
Sir Alex then reportedly turned to lambast Raiola, telling him: “You’re a twat. What do you think he needs to earn?”
Raiola then told Ferguson that the contract offer on the table was not fit for his pet Chihuahuas let alone Pogba, which lead to Ferguson again snapping: “You’re a twat.”
Take a look at Sir Alex’s book and it’s clear that there is no love lost amongst the two. Ferguson’s distrust for footballing agents is well-known, but he singles out Raiola for some scathing criticism. He wrote, "There are one or two football agents I simply do not like. And Mino Raiola, Paul Pogba’s agent, is one of them.”
"I distrusted him from the moment I met him. He became Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent while he was playing for Ajax, and eventually he would end up representing Pogba, who was only 18-years-old at the time.
“We had Paul under a three-year contract, and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. But Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco,” he added.
"He and I were like oil and water. From then on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus."
While Pogba has experienced a slow start to his second spell at Old Trafford, scoring only once in 8 Premier League appearances to date, there is no doubt that he has both the talent and the vision to become the all-round, complete midfielder that saw him command such a lofty price tag.
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