Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala—who is reported to be attracting the interest of clubs including Chelsea and Manchester City—has hired Jose Mourinho’s agent.
As confirmed by Neil McLeman of the Mirror, the 22-year-old centre-back is now represented by the influential Jorge Mendes:
Portuguese agent Mendes also represents Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, and has a history of doing deals with the Stamford Bridge club.
Mangala was linked with the west Londoners in the recent summer window, and are reportedly keen to try again in January.
The French international—who joined Porto from Standard Liege in 2011—is also being touted for a move to Manchester City and Manchester United. As reported by Portuguese newspaper Record (via Ben Jefferson of the Express), money-laden Monaco could dash the Premier League trio’s hopes by meeting the youngster’s £42 million release clause.
Porto's in-demand defender has represented the Liga Sagres champions on eight occasions this season, including appearances against Austria Vienna and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, via WhoScored.
Mangala is blessed with brutish strength, excellent aerial ability and decent pace. He is an aggressive player who isn’t afraid to use his 6’2” frame to halt the opposition’s progress and could be seen as Chelsea’s natural successor to John Terry.
Hiring Mendes will have a huge impact on the player’s future. The agent played an important part in landing Mourinho the Stamford Bridge job back in 2004, per Jason Burt of the Independent, and proceeded to initiate Chelsea moves for players such as Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Tiago, Deco, Maniche and Ricardo Quaresma.
Which team will provide the best future for Eliaquim Mangala?
He is also credited with overseeing Manchester United’s acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, as well as Sir Alex Ferguson’s deal to land Anderson from Porto, per Paul Collins of the Daily Mail. Ronaldo’s subsequent move to Real Madrid also came under Mendes’ control, as did Pepe’s transfer to the Bernabeu.
Mangala is yet to make his intentions clear and may only be offered to teams that meet his release clause. The developing defender is performing well at the Estadio do Dragao and is likely to have an important decision to make in the near future.
He is suitably equipped to perform in the Premier League, La Liga or Ligue 1. With Monaco’s reported interest lurking, Mourinho will need to act decisively in order to prise yet another talent from under the wing of Mendes, an agent who continues to hold a major influence over the game.