Football agent Mino Raiola hit out at Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer yet again on Tuesday, stating Paul Pogba is only committed to the club until the end of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament in the summer.
The agent went after Solskjaer in a Twitter post on Monday after the manager said Pogba belonged to United, not Raiola. A day later, he joined TalkSport for a lengthy interview in which he repeated his statements:
"I've never said he is mine, but that doesn't mean if I'm being asked something I cannot answer. The question was 'would he like Italy?'―what has that got to do with being Manchester United's player. And saying that you are Manchester United's player – are you owned by the club?
"I have been asked if he likes Italy, and I am answering as Mino Raiola; am I not allowed to do that?
"United fans should read the whole interview. He is only committed to Manchester United until after the European Championship. The only focus there is to get back as soon as possible into the team to help the team, and to make a good end of the season for Manchester United. That is what I said in Italy and that is what I am saying here."
Raiola also aimed a dig at club legend Gary Neville, saying he should ask the Red Devils for a job and that he doesn't care what he thinks. Neville had urged United to cut ties with the agent and his clients:
Neville on Pogba's agent Raiola: "The club needs to make a stand against that agent. He has messed them around now for years... "United should just stand strong and not do business with this guy and say to players ‘if you’re represented by him we won’t deal with you’." https://t.co/ZhXnQsyZJE
He also got into a back-and-forth with Simon Jordan over how he handles the transfer market:
The outspoken Raiola has never avoided the spotlight. He has openly discussed the future of Pogba, stating he wants to return to Juventus:
The Frenchman hasn't played for the Red Devils since December, when he featured in two matches after a lengthy stint on the sidelines. He is once again absent due to injury.
United made Pogba the then-most expensive player in the world when they signed him from Juventus in 2016. The 26-year-old hasn't lived up to expectations, however, and exit rumours have been a constant.
Representative Raiola has a reputation for frequently moving his players from club to club, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic the most high-profile example. The Swede has played for nine different clubs as a professional and is now back at Milan for a second stint.
Per The Athletic's Laurie Whitwell, a United source said the club are growing tired of the divisive Raiola:
Laurie Whitwell @lauriewhitwell
Mino Raiola says on @talkSPORT he doesn’t talk about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (while talking about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer). No wonder one source says United are “sick to the core” of working with him. All part of Paul Pogba’s exit strategy @TheAthleticUK #MUFC https://t.co/pllGnKJwDc
Raiola is a hard man to ignore, however, as his stable of clients includes numerous rising stars such as Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, AZ's Calvin Stengs, Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma and PSV's Donyell Malen. He also represents established stars like Pogba, Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti and Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt.