Manchester United’s dream striker signing in 2022 is Erling Haaland, the MEN reported earlier this week. A potential switch which could see Romelu Lukaku sign with Chelsea will also clear the path, taking one rival for his signature out of the running.

There is one pretty big obstacle remaining, in the form of Mino Raiola.

United did multiple deals with Raiola in 2016 and he has been a pain to deal with ever since. He blasted United in an interview with The Times in 2019, has hit out publicly at former United star Paul Scholes, and also goaded manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the media.

Last year Raiola’s explosive interview declaring Pogba was likely to leave this summer caused outrage, as it came shortly before a crucial Champions League game.

Solskjaer though has found a way to set all of this aside, and act as if it was not happening. Pogba remains a central part of his squad, and is expected to start the season despite having just one year left on his contract.

(Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

What role will Raiola have in Haaland’s future?

There are two schools of thought regarding the role Raiola will play in Haaland’s future.

The first is that Raiola will make sure Haaland signs with the club who pay the highest wages and highest agent commission. That could be threatening to United.

The second is that Haaland is so headstrong he will choose the club he wants, and Raiola will simply aid him in securing the best deal.

One way or another, to get a deal done for Erling Haaland in 2022, Manchester United will have to deal with Mino Raiola as well as Borussia Dortmund.

 

Fortunately the Dortmund issue is relatively straightforward with his release clause. But don’t rule out an attempt from the German club to try and move the goalposts, unveiling a secret agreement with an increased release clause or some such shenanigans.

As for Raiola, even if Haaland’s preferred move is Manchester United, the agent won’t show his hand. He will make United sweat by creating the illusion that the striker is weighing up several offers, in order to maximise salary, signing on fee, and commission.

In a normal situation United would walk away. The only reason the club are even considering dealing with Raiola once again is because Haaland is worth the hassle. 40 goals in 43 Bundesliga games speaks for itself.

Athletic Bilbao v Borussia Dortmund - Pre-Season Friendly
(Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Pogba future can be influential

Raiola has reportedly been negotiating with PSG over Paul Pogba’s future, RMC Sport claimed. Le10Sport even claimed he had sounded out Liverpool.

While totally infuriating, it will all matter for little if Pogba actually re-signs with United. A renewal is still in the balance.

If United can manage to get Pogba to sign a new deal, it will show the club are still willing to and able to work with Mino Raiola, and vice versa.

And that will answer a major question for United heading into negotiations for Erling Haaland next summer. It will prove United can work with Raiola when necessary, and this will give the club and supporters confidence a deal for the prolific striker can be done.

If Pogba ends up being sold, or leaving on a free, then the Raiola factor will hover over the potential Haaland deal like a stormy cloud ready to burst.

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