Real Madrid

Mino Raiola reveals why Pogba didn’t sign for Real Madrid

The player’s agent spoke exclusively to French television: “Manchester United will be a stronger side with him. Madrid won’t be.”

Mino Raiola reveals why Pogba didn’t sign for Real Madrid
Scott Heppell REUTERS

This summer’s transfer soap opera can be summed up in two words: Paul Pogba. 

Juventus’ French midfielder was the epicenter of transfer chatter throughout the summer months and became the world’s most expensive player after signing for Manchester United, the club he left on a free transfer just 4 years ago, for €105 million. 

With Pogba now reacquainting himself with his Old Trafford surroundings and having already turned out for Jose Mourinho’s side, his agent Mino Raiola has spoken exclusively with French television show Téléfoot about the prolonged negotiations and the host of top clubs from across Europe that were in the race for the player. Pogba’s transfer to Manchester United, where he linked up with another of Raiola’s high-profile clients, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, was finally completed on the 9th August.

Raiola made clear that, despite the flurry of media gossip and speculation, “at no time during the European Championships did we speak of the negotiations.” France’s defeat to Portugal in the final also slowed things down, he said: “When it was over he asked me if he could go away on holidays. It was understandable; mentally he was exhausted and pretty disappointed after losing the final.”

Mino Raiola says that Manchester United, the club that Pogba left in 2012, will "always be his home."

“I only met him once while he was away on holiday, in Miami,” Raiola continued. “I went to see what he wanted and to see how he felt about the negotiations. He was very clear about what he wanted. Manchester has always been Paul’s home.” 

Jose Mourinho, he said, was a big factor in the transfer. “He tried to sign him for Chelsea last season, but it wasn’t the right moment for Paul to move,” he said. In addition to engineering moves for perhaps his two biggest clients to Old Trafford this summer, Raiola also represents another of Mourinho’s high-profile signings: Armenian forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Italian-born Dutch agent also had some words on Real Madrid’s strongly-touted interest: “Zidane wanted him, as did another 5 or 6 teams. Zizou was a great player and Real Madrid are a huge club but, for me, Manchester United will be a stronger side with him. Madrid won’t be.”