Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has launched a withering attack on Manchester United, claiming that the club is a ‘problem’ for his client and insisting that he would now not help any of his other players move to Old Trafford.
Raiola also suggested that the club is so dysfunctional that it would even have ruined the careers of Diego Maradona, Pele and Paolo Maldini had they played there under the current set-up.
The world-renowned agent, who brokered Pogba’s £89million return to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016, also blasted the United hierarchy as ‘out of touch with reality’ and lacking a ‘sporting project’ in his astonishing attack.
Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola (left) has attacked Manchester United in an astonishing rant. He has accused United, including chief Ed Woodward, of being ‘out of touch with reality’
Raiola also said the club is a ‘problem’ for Pogba, who has suffered from injury and poor form
Pogba has long struggled to justify his huge transfer fee and injuries have caused him to miss huge parts of this season, but Raiola said that the club is to blame for his malaise and that his client needed to leave.
‘Pogba’s problem is Manchester United. It’s a club out of touch with reality and without a sporting project,’ Railo told Italian news outlet La Repubblica.
‘I wouldn’t take anyone there, they would even ruin Maradona, Pele and Maldini.
‘Paul needs a club and a squad, one like Juventus was before.’
Railola was speaking in the wake of United’s failed pursuit of Erling Haaland, another one of his clients, who joined Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg on Sunday.
The collapse of talks between Raiola and United has led to increasingly bitter comments from the agent.
Sportsmail revealed that United pulled out of that deal because the club did not want to meet the demand that Raiola and the player’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland, received a significant share of any transfer fee should he be sold on in future.
But Raiola responded on Monday by claiming that Haaland had himself rejected a move to United, rather than the club turning the deal down.
He also accused United officials of taking the ‘strange and disappointing’ decision of telling reporters that he was the reason behind the club’s failure to sign Haaland.
But his comments on Tuesday saw a remarkable escalation in hostility towards the club, with Raiola now suggesting that Pogba needs to leave United.
Raiola (right) also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who he brought to United in 2016
The Frenchman came through the Old Trafford academy and made a handful of first-team performances for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side before leaving for Juventus on a free transfer in 2012.
After making 178 appearances for the Old Lady and winning four Serie A titles in Turin, Pogba rejoined United for a then-world record £89.3m in 2016.
The midfielder’s return to Old Trafford signalled United’s intent to return to the very top of world football, but the 2017 EFL Cup and the Europa League remain the club’s only major honours since Pogba’s record-breaking transfer.
The club also failed to qualify for the Champions League last season following a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League, while there is still no sign of a challenge for the England’s top-flight title – an honour that has eluded them since 2013.
With Pogba frequently linked with a move away from Old Trafford, many see Raiola as the man with the key to the Frenchman’s future.
Raiola claimed that both Pele and Maldini would have had their careers ruined at Old Trafford
Diego Maradona is another legend who would also have suffered at United, according to Raiola
The super-agent has profited greatly through masterminding high-profile transfers such as Pogba’s, but he says that money is not a factor to him when it comes down to player representation.
He added: ‘My commission depends on the player’s salary and that goes for everyone. I don’t put a gun to anyone’s head. Do I influence the market? Yes of course.’
‘The point is: do I earn a lot or too much? I think a lot. Anyway, money doesn’t motivate me, I was already a millionaire at the age of 20 – I could lie down on a beach and live on my income.’
Yet despite these comments from Raiola, the agent also claimed that he could still see Pogba turning out in a United shirt in 2020.
Raiola now says he would not help his players join United, as he did Pogba in 2016
The Frenchman has featured only three times for the Red Devils since the end of August due to injury and returned to first-team action following a longstanding ankle problem.
When asked whether his client would remain at Old Trafford, he told Sky Sports News this week: ‘Yes, but in a club that I hope fights for the league and hopefully the Champions League.
‘Is that strange? Am I the only one that’s worried? I think that everybody that is in love with Manchester United is worried about it.
‘I’m worried about that for my player. As long as Paul is in Manchester United, he wants to win trophies with Manchester United.
‘Clearly they are not where they think they should be.’
United target Erling Braut Haaland joined Dortmund earlier this week from Red Bull Salzburg
United’s failure to compete consistently at the top has seen their stature slowly diminish in world football, with many of their fans blaming chief executive Ed Woodward for failing to back the squad properly in the transfer market.
Raiola confirmed that United had spoken in great detail to Haaland over a potential move.
He told the Telegraph: ‘The club that he had the most direct contact with him was United.
‘They spoke to him the most. Everybody had the chance to talk to him in person. Clearly he felt that at this moment it was not the right step in his career.
‘There is nothing against Manchester United or Ole. He chose Borussia ahead of them and other clubs and I’m very happy because he is going to the club he wanted to go to and that is best for him right now.’