Italian had expressed interest in signing top female Maltese player
Reports that football “super agent” Mino Raiola has died are “fake news”, his agency told AFP on Thursday after Italian media widely claimed that he had passed away aged 54.
When asked by AFP whether the reports were true, Raiola’s agency said: “Mino is not dead, the stories are fake news”. The agency would not reveal Raiola’s whereabouts nor whether he was sick.
Raiola, whose clients include World Cup winner Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and one of world football’s hottest new properties, Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Braut Haaland, is one of the sport’s biggest agents and most controversial characters.
He has been accused of inflating player salaries to unsustainable levels and has been embroiled in controversy over commissions made on transfers.
In October 2016 former Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta said that Raiola earned 27 million euros ($28.3 million) from the sale of France international Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United that summer.
Football Leaks claimed that Raiola had received 49 million euros from three parties in the then world record 105 million-euro transfer.
Raiola has a strong connection with Malta. In fact, last year he travelled to our islands and held a press conference about ThreeSports – a representation company owned by himself which is based in Qormi.
During his visit he confirmed his interest in an unnamed Maltese female player, which was said to be Haley Bugeja, who is on the books of Sassuolo,
“She’s one of the best so we will see if we can sign her,” Raiola said.
Raiola said that such acquisition would be part of a larger plan with which the Italian said Malta would surely have a top player with a top club in the world in the future.