The phone rings. "Mino? It's Ed."
Looking at the biggest deals that Ed Woodward has since imprinted as executive vice president, there is an excessive dependence on two agents in particular: Mino Raiola and Jorge Mendes.
Perhaps it is understandable. The one-time investment banker took on a role where he had no real experience in 2013 and called on two of the biggest names to help him deliver a number of huge transfers.
Although one of Mendes' most famous clients, Jose Mourinho, is in the pit, United has slowly started to leave his Gestifute stable.
At Real Madrid, the influence of Mendes took place after Mourinho was appointed in the summer of 2010, but that was not the case with United.
Ironically, Mendes' most talked-about deals came to Old Trafford, namely the Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Anthony Martial transfers, before Mourinho rocked in Manchester.
Instead, Woodward turned to Raiola.
Although this collaboration has been cooled a bit late, reality is the club's best outfield players, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, represented by the 50-year-old.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan may have already left, but United has followed a large number of Raiola customers in the past, including Blaise Matuidi, Hirving Lozano, Justin Kluivert, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Marco Verratti. That is no coincidence.
Having such a strong relationship with one of the most powerful agents in the world will sometimes give United an advantage, but it has also brought its own problems.
While Mendes rarely knows, Raiola is not that shy. Indeed, as early as 2000, he told the press that United had signed a deal with Lazio superstar Pavel Nedved.
Later, when he started to speak at Inter & # 39; s about the future of Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli, he always left United's name in the mix.
Then there are social media. When Raiola posts messages, he posts. Paul Scholes is the last to feel his anger after Raiola sarcastically tweeted that United would have sleepless nights to find Paul Pogba a new club if he would become the club's sports director.
That is not the kind of comment United needs after a humiliating defeat against Brighton – and it is not the first time.
Just minutes before Manchester's derby, Mourinho was questioned about Pep Sensiola's sensational revelation that Raiola had offered both Mkhitaryan and Pogba to him in January.
It is clear that Mr. Three Hundred Million does not have United & # 39; s interests – and why should he? Raiola is not a United employee.
The Dutchman clearly has the feeling that a move to Barcelona is in Pogba's interest. The same club he once said he did not respect … if the club does not respect my players & # 39 ;.
His customers trust him. Raiola is family, someone who invites them on vacation, and his background as a hard-working waiter in modest circumstances finds an immediate agreement with his customers, many of whom grew up in difficult circumstances.
Raiola also has a track record of being right and that was one of the many reasons why Pogba goes against the wishes of Sir Alex Ferguson and left United in 2012.
A decision, let's be honest, that was inspired when Zeki Fryers started more games for the first team, Rafael was once chosen for him in the midfield and Scholes was taken out of his pension.
A decision that shocked the club, as former trainer Rene Meulensteen revealed.
"The last year and a half he mainly trained with the first team and he had one or two run-outs, but unfortunately it was a turn", he told MEN Sport earlier.
"What we hoped was that Paul would stay in United and it was too bad, because many years later Manchester United had to dig deep to bring him back and of course Paul wanted to come back."
Juventus later claimed that Raiola had taken £ 24 million from that world record transfer, but it looks like he's planning Pogba's next move already after two seasons in Old Trafford.
Do we really have to be surprised?
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