When an agent stepping out of his expensive car is greeted by thousands of rapturous fans cheering like mad, you know the game has changed. This is the exact scenario that Mino Raiola found himself in as he arrived at the Juventus medical centre to meet up with his client Matthijs de Light ahead of his unveiling at the Italian club.
The fans did not stop there. After welcoming him to the club they begged him to engineer a move for another one of his clients, with the chant: “Bring us Pogba” heard loud and clear across the modern medical centre. The demand for these big name players simply is insatiable with football fans wanted their club to spend huge amounts of money every single summer.
This has made agents, and super-agents in particular, vital in the world of football. Raiola has become the biggest name in his profession and boasts some of the best clients in the world, making him an incredibly rich man.
De Ligt could have joined any of the top clubs in Europe. At one point or another, each of Barcelona, PSG and Manchester United were all clear favourites to land his signature as Mino Raila flaunted his latest high-profile client all over the continent.
Clearly, money talks in this scenario. Juventus offered a higher wage than Barcelona to secure the deal but perhaps the most telling factor in modern football transfers is how much money the agent gets. When it comes to Raiola, he always gets a healthy wedge of money from every deal and this one in particular looks to be heavily weighted in his favour.
He asked for 20% of the initial fee when negotiating with the Spanish giants and is thought to have scooped an even higher percentage fee for the Juventus deal. Not bad work if you can get it. These agents are playing an increasingly important part in transfers and often players are ending up at clubs that will pay them the most rather than the club that is best for their career.
It could be argued that for De Ligt, both Barcelona and Manchester United would have provided more of a test for him on a personal level and allowed him to experience a different country at such a young age. Of course he could have used the English side as a stepping stone to bigger and better things but it is difficult to envisage him playing for every top side in Europe during his career.
The financial packages that all three rivals had put together were huge for a 19-year-old, with Manchester United prepared to make him the face of their revival and captain, as well as paying him £350k a week, yet he chose to learn from some of the best defender in the world at Juve.
Barcelona and Manchester United’s relationship with Mino Raiola has been frosty in the past and that doesn’t look like changing as another one of his clients Paul Pogba remains uncertain about his future. He has all of the power and clubs are terrified of the influence and power he holds.
He boasts a wealth of clients, a whole load of money and potentially the most influence in the footballing world. His power cannot be underestimated and the worrying thing for clubs is that there are several others following his lead.