Manchester United made the decision to deal with Mino Raiola to sign Paul Pogba in 2016. Further moves were also struck with clients Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Briefly, there was success, with United winning two trophies in the 2016/17 season. Injury cut Zlatan’s spell short, while Mkhitaryan was moved on in a swap deal after inconsistent performances.
United have shown far more patience with Pogba, but his own inconsistency has been incredibly frustrating. This has highlighted the problems Raiola brings to the table.
What has been quite striking about Raiola, is when everything is going well for Pogba on the pitch at United, he stays quiet. In some ways it is the Frenchman’s own failure on the pitch which has exacerbated the controversy the agent brings to the table.
United have a decision to make this coming summer over whether to do another deal involving Raiola, for super striker Erling Haaland.
Haaland is on a different level
Haaland has a level of consistency Pogba has never been able to bring to the table at United. And this could be one reason why United are tempting to move for the Norwegian despite his agent.
Since joining Borussia Dortmund, Haaland has not been able to stop scoring. He has struck 76 goals in 74 games, and provided 20 assists.
These are insane numbers, the like of which Cristiano Ronaldo has been used to producing at his peak. These type of players are worth making exceptions for.
German newspaper BILD report United are keen on a deal for Haaland next summer. There will be plenty of bidders, with the striker a rare talent.
United have a few trump cards. Ralf Rangnick knows him well having overseen his move to Salzburg, while Jadon Sancho playing alongside him for 18 months at Dortmund. Haaland is also a huge admirer of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Raiola is the only factor holding United back from going ‘all in’ for the 21-year-old, but as shown with moves for Pogba and Zlatan, if the club believe the player is special enough, a deal could still be done. Haaland’s unerring consistency in front of goal is likely to leave the agent as a mere sideshow.
For all the logical arguments against dealing with Raiola in January 2020, United would be in a stronger place if a deal had been done. It is highly likely the club would have triumphed in at least one cup competition, having gone onto lose four semi-finals and one final since.
Haaland is worth the gamble. Whether United end up doing the deal remains to be seen, and will drag on into next summer. But with Norway failing to qualify for Qatar 2022, Haaland seems like an even more tempting proposition.
It is easy to see why United have not given up and will continue to consider a deal next year despite the Raiola problem. On the pitch, he will deliver, far more so than Pogba has been able to, and that ultimately is what matters.
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