Football agent Jon Smith has paid tribute to the late Mino Raiola in his latest exclusive column for CaughtOffside.
Smith has revealed he always got on well with Raiola, even if he admitted the controversial Dutch-Italian agent was sometimes a difficult character.
Still, it’s clear Raiola knew how to get the best deals for his clients, and Smith has explained how the 54-year-old once worked his magic to get Juventus far more money from Manchester United for the Paul Pogba transfer than they were initially demanding.
“He and I would often speak, we’d laugh and have a joke – we got on very well. He was a really good bloke,” Smith said.
“You don’t get Real Madrid and Juventus coming out and saying ‘we’re really sorry you’re no longer with us…’ if you weren’t well respected.
“The biggest question with him though was always ‘how the hell did he get £40m out of the Pogba deal to Man United?’ – well, and he said this to me over lunch one day – ‘Juventus were prepared to accept just £20m for Paul, so I put in various different clauses and I got the price up to £40m, then up to £60m, then eventually, I got them £80m. £60m more than they originally wanted. How bad is it that Juventus rewarded me for that?’ – and he was right.”
Raiola represented many of the biggest names in world football, with Pogba up there alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Erling Haaland and Matthijs de Ligt as his most high-profile clients.