Mino Raiola’s latest stunt has reportedly not gone down well at Manchester United, where club chiefs believe they were right to have concerns over the agent’s influence in Erling Haaland’s future.
It was only last week that Raiola and Haaland’s father Alfe-Inge went on their mini tour of Europe touting the striker out to elite clubs.
United were among the clubs believed to have been part of discussions on the whistle-stop trip to England and are keen to land the 20-year-old ahead of their rivals.
However, they are unlikely to be able to prise him away from Borussia Dortmund this summer due to their own financial situation, particularly when he can be acquired for £68million when his release clause becomes active in 2022.
But United are still wary of doing business with Raiola, who has caused untold distractions at Old Trafford in his dealings involving Paul Pogba.
According to ESPN , it was Raiola’s ‘roadshow’ which has led United chiefs to believe they made the right call when trying to sign Haaland previously, who they failed to nab from RB Salzburg when he made the switch to Dortmund.
At the time of that transfer in January last year, United were under the impression Raiola wanted too much control over his client and felt the terms of any agreement were unreasonable.
Of particular concern was the suggestion a release clause should be included in Haaland’s contract – something which Dortmund were happy to oblige with but has now left them in a precarious position, one which United were not open to putting themselves in.
Raiola has often teased Pogba’s exit from United and would perhaps have got his wish had the Frenchman had a get-out clause of his own.
Were United to come to that kind of arrangement with Haaland, there would always be the prospect Raiola could embark on another business trip to drum up interest from other clubs while the Norwegian is plying his trade at Old Trafford.
That would effectively relinquish power to Raiola and give United little say, as the comments this week of Dortmund’s manager Edin Terzic made clear.
“I can’t stop Mino Raiola and Alfie Haaland from travelling,” Terzic said. “It’s up to them, they’re grown-ups and they can choose whatever they want to do. I just can have an impact on Erling and we are happy to have him in our team.”
Given Raiola’s evident lack of respect for United’s hierarchy, that would be a difficult place for the club to position themselves.
Nevertheless, they are aware that the only way to Haaland is through Raiola, but a transfer is something United are willing to put in the back seat for now.
As per ESPN’s report, United have decided against shelling out the £150m valuation Dortmund have put on Haaland for him to leave this summer – a stance also adopted by rivals Man City.
This follows on from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s view last month that the club needed to be “realistic” and “responsible” in their dealings this summer, and predicted there would be few major big-money transfers in the current climate.