With just days to go until the Premier League transfer window slams shut, rumours continue to circulate that World Cup winner Paul Pogba is on his way to Spanish side Barcelona after two mediocre seasons with Manchester United.
Anyone that follows the sport will know that these sorts of stories aren’t uncommon.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti to Barcelona, AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma to Real Madrid, Zlatan Ibrahimovic to every top club in Europe: these rumours are all the doing of one man, football agent Mino Raiola.
Whether the intention is to force his clients’ current clubs to offer improved terms or secure them lucrative transfers elsewhere, Raiola has a knack of getting what he wants.
With names like Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Verratti and Mario Balotelli on his books, these deals come with lucrative bonuses that have earned Raiola the title of “super-agent” due to the scale of the deals that he manages to pull off.
So who is the football super-agent and how much has be made from football so far?
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Who is Mino Raiola?
The Italian-born Dutchman is one of the most successful agents in football, having made a multi-million dollar fortune brokering some of the biggest transfers in the sport.
The Italian started his football career as a player and a youth coach, before moving into the business side of the sport. He joined the agency Sports Promotions, where he helped to orchestrate transfers for some of the biggest names in Dutch and Italian football.
He sent Frank Rijkaard from Sporting CP to AC Milan, where he would play a vital role in some of the club’s most successful years. Likewise, he sent Dennis Bergkamp from Ajax to Inter Milan.
Using his experience from Sports Promotions, Raiola founded his own agency. He now boasts over 60 clients that are playing for some of the biggest clubs in world football, as well as many of the sport’s rising stars and promising talents.
Mino Raiola’s client list
According to Forbes, Raiola currently manages more than $430m worth of talent and has earned $43.5m in commission so far for his part in conducting the transfers of his clients.
His first was the €41m deal that saw Czech star Pavel Nedved join Juventus to replace the departing Zinedine Zidane.
Well connected in the Netherlands, Raiola picked up Swedish talent Ibrahimovic and proceeded to help him to become one of the most marketable stars in world football.
Ibrahimovic moved from Ajax to Juventus, Juventus to Inter Milan, Inter Milan to Barcelona, Barcelona to Ac Milan, and then AC Milan to PSG over the next eight years, ringing up transfer fees totalling €131m.
He also orchestrated Robinho’s high-profile €35m move to Manchester City during the club’s free-spending summer of 2010, while also persuading the club to splash £24m on one of his other clients, Italian goalscorer Balotelli.
However, his best year came in 2016. With Manchester United undergoing a major rebuilding under manager Jose Mourinho, he got the club to sign Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pogba.
The latter deal, which cost the Premier League side €105m, saw Raiola take home at least £20m in agent fees. According to Der Spiegel journalists Rafael Buschmann and Michael Wulzinger, the total fee will actually be closer to £40m, with United set to pay another £16.4m in instalments over the next five years. If true, it’s no wonder that Raiola is trying to secure his client another transfer so soon.
Having struck a good relationship with the Premier League club, he also helped to get the deal for Everton’s Romelu Lukaku over the line the following year. It’s unreported exactly how much he made from the deal, but at €85m it was likely another lucrative one for the agent.
Mino Raiola net worth
Often seen donning a tight-fitted tracksuit alongside his list of celebrity clients, Raiola’s appearance doesn’t give the impression that he’s a man with an eight-figure bank balance. However, according to the agent, that is merely a cover to make people underestimate him.
Whatever it is that he’s doing, he’s doing it right. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mino Raiola’s net worth stands at around $50m. That certainly fits with Forbes’ estimate of his earnings of $43.5m as a sports agent.
That places him in the top ten most successful sports agents of all time. However, as a man that’s always pushing for more, he will have his sights firmly fixed on the top spot. Getting Pogba to Barcelona this summer for a touted fee in excess of £100m would be a big step towards achieving that goal.