Paul Pogba: Man Utd v agent Mino Raiola - a long-running war of words

By Ciaran VarleyBBC Sport
Cutout of Mino Raiola and Paul Pogba against a Manchester United badge
This dispute is nothing new

Paul Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, has said the player must leave Manchester United in the next transfer window.

He has claimed the 27-year-old France midfielder is "unhappy" at Old Trafford and "has to change teams".

The timing of the comments, which came on the eve of a crucial Champions League group game and five days before Saturday's Manchester derby is…interesting.

As former United captain Gary Neville points out, we've been here before...

July 2012 - Ferguson 'happy' for Pogba to go

In 2012, a 19-year-old Pogba left United to join Juventus for £1.5m - with Raiola overseeing the deal.

Pogba's contract was due to run out that summer.

Then manager Sir Alex Ferguson said at the time: "Pogba signed for Juventus a long time ago as far as we're aware, which is disappointing.

"I don't think he showed us any respect at all so, to be honest, I'm quite happy."

September 2015 - Ferguson slams Raiola in book

In Leading, his 2015 book, Ferguson again reflected on the Pogba transfer.

He wrote: "There are one or two football agents I simply do not like. And Mino Raiola, Paul Pogba's agent, is one of them.

"I distrusted him from the moment I met him."

The Scot claimed he had hoped to extend Pogba's contract, but Raiola had scuppered that.

April 2018 - Guardiola says Pogba was offered to Man City

Before the Manchester derby in April 2018, City boss Pep Guardiola said Raiola contacted him and offered him Pogba and United team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the January transfer window of that year.

Pogba posted soon afterwards on social media: "Say what?"

Raiola told BBC Sport he did not speak to Guardiola but did not deny telling City of the players' availability.

October 2018 - Mourinho reportedly blames Raiola for fallout with Pogba

After re-signing for United in 2016, Pogba intermittently struggled and relations with manager Jose Mourinho seemed to sour.

In September 2018, a video emerged which appeared to show the pair having a tense exchange in training. Following that, Mourinho announced Pogba would not captain the team again.

The Portuguese said: "No player is bigger than the club. If I am happy with his work, he plays; if I am not, he doesn't play.

"I am really happy with his work this week. He trained really well. The team needs good players. He is a good player."

However, the Manchester Evening News reportedexternal-link in October 2018 that Mourinho blamed Raiola for the bad relationship, saying the problem was with the people Pogba "listens to".

July 2019 - Raiola claims Pogba wants to leave

In July 2019, after Pogba was absent from pre-season training, Raiola told The Times:external-link "Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on.

"We are in the process of that. Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are."

In June, Pogba had said "now could be a good time to find a new challenge".

December 2019 - Raiola hits out at United over Haaland

Before the winter transfer window, United were heavily linked with 20-year-old Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland, who is also represented by Raiola.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows Haaland from his time as manager of Norwegian side Molde.

The player ended up signing a four-year deal with Borussia Dortmund instead. In the aftermath, there was speculation United had been put off partly by a buyout clause that was said to benefit Raiola.

Raiola told The Telegraph:external-link "I do not know if Manchester United are briefing this but if they are then they are covering their own loss, and that I find strange and disappointing."

He added: "If they want to blame someone then, fine, blame me - but the player is happy. He has made his choice and we went through a normal process."

February 2020 - Raiola says Pogba is 'not United's property'

In February, Raiola suggested Pogba could rejoin Juventus in the summer.

Solskjaer responded by saying: "Paul is our player and not Mino's."

Raiola reacted on social media, saying he hoped the manager wasn't suggesting that "Paul is his prisoner".

He added: "Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer's property. Paul is Paul Pogba's."

August 2020 - Raiola says Pogba won't be sold

Between seasons, Raiola told Sky Sports Italy: "Pogba is a key player for Manchester United.

"They've an important project and he's 100% included. Manchester United will not accept any bid to sell Pogba.

"We're going to speak about a new contract soon, no stress."

October 2020 - Contract extension

In October, United triggered a contract extension until 2022, just days after Pogba said a move to La Liga giants Real Madrid would be "a dream".

December 2020 - Raiola says Pogba must leave United

All of which brings us to the latest instalment in this ongoing drama.

Raiola told Tuttosportexternal-link: "He has a contract that will expire in a year and a half, but I think the best solution for the parties is to sell him in the next market."

Could this be the final chapter in the story?

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