Mino Raiola

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Lingard to be represented by controversial agent Raiola

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Jesse Lingard has taken up new representation and advisement in the form of controversial and meddlesome “super-agent” Mino Raiola.

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The news is unlikely to sit well with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, who just this weekend said he would ask Paul Pogba, who is another of Rariola’s clients, to speak to the Italian-born Dutch agent about his recent comments which painted the club in a poor light.

Raiola called United “a club out of touch with reality” and said that he would not send anymore of his clients to the Premier League giants under the current hierarchy.

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Lingard signed a new four-year contract with Man United in 2017, though the 27-year-old’s form has been up-and-down since doing so.

One could read Lingard’s pact with Raiola one of two ways: 1) he’s angling for a new — and massive — contract to remain at United; 2) he’s decided that his future lies away from United, and he wants the world’s premier transfer facilitator to tick every box on his wish list in doing so.

Pogba wants to play for title winning team

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Paul Pogba‘s agent Mino Raiola insists his client is only interested on playing on teams who will be challenging for the title.

Manchester United better get a shift on then.

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Speaking to our partners Sky Sports News in the UK, ‘super agent’ Raiola revealed that Pogba is happy enough at United right now as he’s returned to action after a three-month stint out injured.

“Paul has always respected Manchester United, as long as Manchester United has respected Paul. The only one that talks for Manchester United and Paul is Ole. I go by what he says; he will not move. That’s OK and we are good with them,” Raiola said. “Paul is struggling a little bit with his injury and that’s our main interest now. There’s one objective that Paul has and that is to perform as well as possible with Manchester United. He’s a top pro and I think that his heart is in the right place with Manchester United.”

Asked if he thought Pogba would be at United this time next year, Raiola was confident that would be the case but was also keen to stress that the French superstar wants to be winning trophies as he seemed to offer a warning to United’s hierarchy.

“Yes I can, but in a club that I hope fights for the league and hopefully the Champions League,” Raiola said. “Is that strange? Am I the only one that’s worried? Is the owner not worried? I think that everybody that is in love with Manchester United is worried about that. I’m worried about that for my player. I’m not a fan of Manchester United but I have a very direct interest.”

“As long as Paul is in Manchester United, he wants to win trophies with Manchester United. That’s the kind of player he is and he will not act differently. Like Ole’s saying, it’s a work in progress now this club. He’s says he’s working on a team for next year. Let’s hope that it goes well for him because the world needs Manchester United on the top. Clearly they are not where they think they should be.”

Raiola is saying what every Man United fans wants but this is clearly a long way away from happening.

His answers seem to mostly challenge the United board to spend big in the next few transfer windows as they are making progress but need more pieces to turn them into legitimate top four contenders again.

Despite his wishes to leave in the summer, Pogba will be a key part of this United rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. His quality on the ball stands out as he made a big impact against Watford and Newcastle on his first two games back but he then wasn’t fit enough to face Burnley.

He should play against Arsenal on New Year’s Day (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) and 2020 is a big deal for Pogba and United.

Report: AC Milan begins talks for Zlatan return

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According to a report by Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, AC Milan has begun preliminary talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic via his longtime agent Mino Raiola.

Ibrahimovic played the last two seasons for the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, and lit the U.S. league on fire with 53 goals in 58 games. The Swedish international was his usual lightning rod self throughout his MLS tenure, claiming on multiple occasions that he was the best player to ever play in Major League Soccer.

Romano says that nothing is immediately imminent and that Zlatan will take his time deciding on his future, saying he could know in the “next weeks” where he will head.

While Zlatan did not release his intentions upon leaving the Galaxy, a return to Serie A has been heavily rumored for weeks. He played for AC Milan from 2010-2012, and prior to that spent three seasons with Inter Milan from 2006-2009 as well as two seasons with Juventus from 2004-2006. He won six Serie A titles between the three clubs, including the 2010/11 Scudetto with AC Milan.

There have also been significant reports linking Ibrahimovic to Serie A side Bologna where Zlatan is friends with manager Sinisa Mihajlovic. The Serbian boss has battled leukemia this season but has decided to coach through it, and Zlatan reportedly wishes to show his support by signing up to play for the squad.

Man United ‘in the process’ of selling Pogba

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This summer Paul Pogba has made his wish clear to leave Manchester United, and it appears the Red Devils are now working on making it a reality.

Pogba, 26, told reporters at a promotional event in Japan last month that “now could be a good time to find a new challenge.”

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The French World Cup winner has spent the last three seasons at Manchester United following his then world-record $110 million transfer from Juventus in 2016.

Speaking to The Times on Friday, Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has confirmed he is working on behalf of his client and with the club to seal a transfer away from Old Trafford.

“Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. We are in the process of doing that,” Raiola said. “Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are… Everyone within the club, from the manager to the owner, knows Paul’s wishes.”

The timing of this statement makes sense, but quite how far along Raiola is in “the process” of a transfer remains to be seen.

United are heading to the preseason tour of Australia and the Far East on Sunday, and it is clear Pogba doesn’t want to be on that plane. When asked that, Raiola simply added: “I cannot tell you anything. I live day by day.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had given Pogba extra time off and he has yet to return to preseason training at their Carrington base, but the reason given for that was due to Pogba’s heavy workload last summer at the World Cup as his summer break was cut short by then manager Jose Mourinho.

Clearly that isn’t the case and his erratic form for the Red Devils first under Mourinho, and then in the latter months of last season under Solskjaer, prove he just isn’t what United need at the moment. Over the past three seasons he has had severe ups and downs, as United have won the League Cup and Europa League, but have twice finished outside of the Premier League’s top six. Last season was his best-ever in terms of his output, as he led United with 16 goals and 11 assists.

Pogba’s influence in the dressing room is massive and if he wants out there is likely to be a cloud hanging over United’s squad until it happens. Solskjaer has hinted at more transfer deals to be done by United this summer, as so far they’ve added young talents Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for a combined cost of $85 million. If Pogba leaves and Romelu Lukaku follows him out of the door, United will need to spend plenty to replace their star quality. That said, their new transfer policy involves buying young, hungry players instead of superstars who are the finished article.

Real Madrid and Juventus have both been linked with a move for Pogba this summer, as the central midfielder is contracted to the club until 2021 and this transfer window represents the best chance for United to recoup the vast majority of the $110 million they paid for him.

With the transfer window shutting for Premier League clubs on Aug. 8, we haven’t heard the last of this one.

Raiola transfer ban extended worldwide by FIFA

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According to reports across Europe, including Sky Sports, superagent Mino Raiola has seen his transfer ban extend worldwide by FIFA’s disciplinary committee.

News of Raiola’s initial suspension came through on Thursday, with the Italian FA banning the agent from performing his representative duties for three months, a suspension that only took effect within the Italian federation. However, the reports on Friday state that the chairman of the FIFA disciplinary committee, Ghanan judge Anin Yeboah, has taken charge of the case and extended it to apply worldwide. This means Raiola is effectively banned from performing any duties as an agent for the duration of the suspension.

It is still unclear what the reason for the suspension is, as neither the Italian FA nor FIFA have officially stated the reason for the disciplinary action. However, Gazzetta dello Sport reported Thursday that the suspension has to do with the 2015 transfer of Gianluca Scamacca from Roma’s youth system to PSV. Scamacca, now 20 years old, was just 16 at the time, and the transfer reportedly angered Roma. The report did not explain what rule Raiola may have violated during the proceedings of that transfer.

The exact start and end dates of the suspension are not known, but theoretically, if it were to take effect yesterday, that would mean Raiola could resume duties on August 9, exactly one day after the close of the summer transfer window in England.

The ban could have a significant affect on the transfer market this summer, with Raiola representing a number of high-profile players who are the subject of heavy transfer speculation. The most notable two Raiola clients are Paul Pogba and Matthijs de Ligt, with Pogba reportedly unhappy at Manchester United and de Ligt a highly sought-after young defender set to play in the Champions League final with Ajax in a few weeks. Raiola will likely have coworkers and colleagues who could perform the duties he would otherwise complete during a normal, uninterrupted transfer window, but it could leave Raiola clients in a tricky situation if they are unable to communicate with their agent normally.

Raiola said Thursday that he would challenge the suspension legally, calling it “a sentence dominated by political willing, without taking into the right consideration the reason of law.”