Tag Archives: mino raiola

Change in transfer policy signals end for Wenger

Our transfer dealings thus far in January have been interesting. Not just for the player we have signed (and those that we have sold) but for the way we have operated.

In the past, Arsene Wenger has been kingmaker when it comes to transfers. Heavily involved in deciding who he wants, how much he wants to pay, and what agents he wants to deal with.

This has led us to miss out on transfer targets in the past as he dithers over deals and shown a tendency to walk away rather than negotiate.

The signing of Henrik Mkhitaryan and the potential deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang show a change in the way Arsenal do their transfers.

Now I am not naive to think that Wenger has had nothing to do with these signings. As manager he needs to sign off on the deals, he needs to want the players, he needs to be working alongside those doing the deals to ensure the right players are coming in to fit into HIS squad.

But whilst Wenger has said yes to Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang, he has left the deals to be thrashed out by others.

Out in Dortmund to negotiate the deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was new Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat, Huss Fahmy – Contracts, Legal & Commercial Expert – and Ivan Gazidis; whatever he does.

It is a move away from previous negotiations which would often see Gazidis and the now unemployed Dick Law be joined by Arsene Wenger.

The fact that Wenger is staying at home – and preparing the team for the League Cup game against Chelsea – shows that some of his job roles have been taken away, and the grip on the club loosened.

Henrik Mkhitaryan was also an interesting deal.

His agent is Mino Raiola. The Italian “Super Agent” who also represents the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He has a reputation for demanding huge fees and moving his clients between clubs at regular intervals – and making money every step of the way.

He is the type of man Arsenal have refused to do business with in the past.

Back in the day, David Dein used to refuse to pay any agents fees (unless the agent was his son). Arsene Wenger is over the same thought process, that agents are a leach on the game who get paid huge amounts by clubs to bring players in. In the past, Wenger would not have dealt with Raiola.

As much as “Super Agents” are a cockroach within the game, they are now a key part of the transfer process. Major clubs now need to accept that they need to deal with these people.

It is interesting the shift in mentality at the club that Arsenal were now willing to deal with Raiola. You have to think this was a decision made above Wenger, by Gazidis, Kroenke, on the advice of other new incoming members of staff.

Raul Sanllehi does not join the club until February, but coming from Barcelona, he has had plenty of dealings with these agents that previously the club would refuse to work with. He had potentially given the nod for the club to deal with Raiola before he has even started.

The future will also be interesting once Sanllehi joins. It potentially means no more Gazidis at the negotiating table, as Sanllehi will be Head of Football Relations and surely deal with the footballing side of the club, leaving Gazidis to deal with the commercial activities.

The dream team of Sanllehi, Mislintat & Fahmy will lead future transfer negotiations – leaving Arsene Wenger to a side.

It shows a shift in policy, and the club preparing for Wexit.


The REAL reason why Jose Mourinho “rejected” Alexandre Lacazette

Reports today that Manchester United scouts went back to Jose Mourinho with poor reports on Arsenal’s record signing Alexandre Lacazette, which in turn lead to Jose Mourinho rejecting a deal for him and instead signing Romelu Lukaku.

What a load of old bollocks. There is one reason, and one reason only, why Mourinho went for Lukaku instead of Lacazette.

Mino Raiola.

Riola is the Italian-born Dutch football agent who has become very rich in recent years moving his clients around Europe, and pocketing himself millions in the process.

He has become Jose Mourinho’s agent of choice in the last 12 months, with him being involved in the Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku deals.

The Paul Pogba deal alone will potentially make Raiola £41.39m.

£22.8m of this has come from Juventus as part of the £89m fee paid by Manchester United. Whilst this is paid by Juventus, Manchester United would have had to have paid the Italian side an additional £22.8m as part of the transfer fee to cover this.

Had Juventus not had to have paid such a big amount to Raiola, Manchester United would not have had to have paid so much to them.

You then have 5 future instalments of £16.39m paid to Raiola. It is not clear if Manhcester United are paying for these direct, or through Juventus. But ultimately Manchester United will be footing the bill.

Finally Paul Pogba is set to make a payment of £2.2m to his agent. Once again this would come from the signing on fee that Manchester United have paid to Paul Pogba. Like the Juventus deal, Manchester United have had to pay Pogba more to cover what he pays to Raiola.

One way or another, Manchester United have paid £41.39m to Mino Raiola.

In the 2016/17 season, Manchester United paid £19m to agents.

Last season they signed Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Mkhitaryan & Eric Bailly. Only Bailly was no a Raiola client.

Now Pogba’s agents fees are outlined above. The only payment made direct from Manchester United to Raiola would be the first portion of the 5 instalments. If equally spread over the 5 years, this would be £3.27m. That then leaves £15.72m across the other 3 players.

Split this equally – and I am sure this will be underestimating – Manchester United would have paid around £11m of the £19m to Raiola for Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan.

We then come to Romelu Lukaku.

Reports earlier in the summer were that he was on the way to Chelsea. But the London side stalled on the deal after they were unwilling to pay the agents fee that Raiola was demanding. Manchester United then snuck in and did a deal. The agents fee was reported to be £12m.

So another £12m paid to Raiola this summer, on top of the £11m paid for Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan last summer. Add the £3.27m paid for Pogba, the £2.2m paid “by” Pogba, and the £22.8m paid “by” Juventus, Manchester United have paid £51.27m to Mino Raiola since Jose Mourinho took over as manager.

£51.27m. Let that sink in a little bit.

You have to wonder why Mourinho clearly favours a single agent, and a single agent who ends up pocketing so much of Manchester United’s money.

Jose Mourinho is currently facing tax fraud charges in Spain. Leaked documents suggested that Mourinho’s own agent, Jorge Mendes was involved in a massive tax avoidance scheme with both Mourinho and Ronaldo accused of not paying taxes by using offshore accounts.

Alexandre Lacazette is not advised by Mino Raiola. If Raiola was Lacazette’s agent, you feel he would have joined Manchester United.

Raiola is Mourinho’s agent of choice at the moment.