Mino Raiola has come under fire once again from Gary Neville after the pundit re-opened his war of words with the super-agent over the future of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
The German side are known for their ability to mould young players into Champions League-level quality. They have helped the careers of Robert Lewandowski, Ilkay Gundogan and Christian Pulisic, just to name a few.
Whether it’s through the academy or shrewd signings, Dortmund always find a way to compete at the top level. They struggle to usurp Bayern Munich as German champions but did win last season’s DFB-Pokal.
Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland both scored twice as they eased past RB Leipzig in the final.
Sancho has since joined Man Utd for £73m. He arrived at Old Trafford with plenty of promise but is yet to make his mark on the first team.
United are now being tipped to launch a summer approach for Haaland too. With a €75m exit clause kicking in next summer, the Dortmund star will have no shortage of admirers.
And with 13 goals in just 10 appearances this season, it’s easy to see why he’ll be a man in demand.
It could have been a different story for United had they won the race to sign Haaland back in January 2020. With offers on the table from United, Haaland instead chose to join the Black & Yellow.
“Our offer wasn’t the best,” Watzke admitted (via Daily Mail). “The offer from Man Utd was better. However, agent Mino Raiola has recognised that Erling is in better hands with us.
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“People notice that gifted people make the breakthrough the quickest with us. That is a powerful argument for the players, their parents and advisors.
“When we discovered the players on our own is long gone, but we will get them. We have no inhibitions about letting 17-year-olds play.”
However, Neville reckons there is more to it than that and claims Raiola only pushes for deals that line his own pocket.
“We all know why. He structures his deals with clubs that will give him a large % of the transfer fee when the player leaves!” Neville tweeted in response to a graphic showing Watzke’s quotes.
Neville, Raiola spat goes way back
It’s not the first time Neville has had a go at Raiola. Indeed, Neville told United to act tough and avoiding dealing with any player under the super-agent’s command.
“Why they allow themselves to be played by him I’ll never know. Manchester United should just stand strong and say if you’re represented by him we won’t deal with you,” he said in February 2020.
Raiola hit back at Neville by launching a sarcastic attack on the fortunes of Salford City, who the former defender part owns.
“Gary Neville has so much know-how about football. I’m surprised that his Salford City are not in the Premier League already. I don’t care what Gary Neville says,” Raiola told talkSPORT.