Manchester City will not let the blood feud between Pep Guardiola and notorious super-agent Mino Raiola get in the way of their pursuit of Erling Haaland, as they go full speed ahead to land the Borussia Dortmund striker this summer.
Managers and agents don’t always see eye to eye, but Guardiola and Raiola really do not like each other. Raiola has referred to the former Barcelona boss as a ‘coward’ and a ‘dog’ in the past, and even once claimed he tried to physically attack the Catalan coach…only to be held back by Adriano.
His bizarre agenda against Guardiola stems from the fact that he didn’t quite fancy Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Barça, and while the manager has generally kept his opinions on the situation to himself, it’s no coincidence that there have been only a small handful of dealings between the two since.
The fact that Raiola represents Haaland, then, might have cast doubts over what 90min exclusively reported last week: that City are pushing hard to land the Norwegian, and could offer more than £100m for him and American teammate Giovanni Reyna.
But a report from The Mirror says that the club will not let the bad blood between the two get in the way of a potential deal, and that Haaland to City is very much all systems go.
A Mirror source points to the similarly poor relationship between Guardiola and Yaya Toure’s representative Dimitri Seluk, and how that didn’t prevent him from extending his contract at the club, back before things broke down between the two.
The vibe seems to be that while Guardiola has no time for Raiola, and vice versa, City will put their own interests first and press ahead. Direct dealings between manager and agent are generally minimal anyway – especially at City, where transfer negotiations are largely conducted by director of football Txiki Begiristain.
90min understand that City are very confident of fending off Chelsea to land Haaland, who they see as a replacement for Sergio Aguero, and the report here does nothing to contradict that stance.
City are expected to move swiftly once the summer window opens, even if that means paying over the odds, with Haaland already viewed as one of the best number nines in the world despite being just 20 years old.
Raiola also represents Romelu Lukaku, who is said to be on a shortlist of up to five alternatives to Haaland.