Fifa seeks 'clarification' over Man United Pogba deal
Could agent Mino Raiola have breached third-party ownership rules?
Fifa is looking into the world-record transfer that took Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United last summer, a day after it was claimed his agent Mino Raiola stands to make £41m out of the deal.
"World football's ruling body have contacted United to ask for clarification about all aspects of the deal," reports the Daily Mail. Concerns have been raised that Raiola may have breached third-party ownership rules.
According to the paper, sources say the agent received such a significant amount from the transfer because of a deal he struck with Juventus when they signed Pogba from Manchester United in 2012.
Pogba, a 19-year-old trainee at the time, had fallen out with manager Alex Ferguson and refused to sign a new deal at Old Trafford. The Italian club snapped him up for a meagre £1.5m.
"During the negotiations Raiola is understood to have persuaded the Juve hierarchy to agree to the most incredible contract, one that guaranteed the former waiter 50 per cent of anything over a certain figure - believed to be around £40m - should they sell him on," says the Mail.
Four years later, Pogba was one of the most sought-after players in the world and moved back to Manchester in a £89m deal.
Under the terms of the alleged agreement with Juventus, Raiolo is said to have received more than £20m.
However, "according to documents revealed by the Football Leaks operation", it appears the agent was involved in all three sides of the deal, claims The Guardian.
"Described in media reports as Pogba's own agent, [Raiola] was also employed by Juventus before the player's move, to engineer a sale at the best possible price," it continues.
"Part of Raiola's role for Juventus, according to the leaks, was to generate competition between clubs to deliver a top price. Some reports have said that United engaged Raiola at the same time, paying another very large fee, to help secure the signing of Pogba. Raiola is said to have also worked for Pogba himself as his agent, to negotiate his new salary package when he joined United."
Fifa's request for "clarification" about the transfer "does not constitute an investigation", adds the Guardian. If there are irregularities, the findings will be forwarded to Fifa's disciplinary committee.
Raiola also acts for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who joined United from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3m last year, reports The Times. "According to Football Leaks, Raiola had an agreement with Dortmund that he would receive a cut of the fee if Mkhitaryan was sold and he would also pocket a fee if he stayed at the club."
It is the size of the agent fees involved in the Pogba deal that has shocked the football world. The Mail says the £41m he earned is more "than the entire playing budget of every League Two club".
This season, "the total spent on player costs including all contract, non-contract and loan players by the 24 clubs in League Two was £39,982,000 - around £1.4m less than Raiola's slice of the Pogba deal", adds the paper.
Paul Pogba's agent to earn £41m from Man United transfer
Paul Pogba's agent will receive £41m for brokering the £89m transfer deal that brought the midfielder to Manchester United last summer, according to a new book.
Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football, which is published in Germany this week, also lifts the lid on the mammoth contract signed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he arrived at Old Trafford before the start of the season.
It is based on the research of Der Spiegel journalists Rafael Buschmann and Michael Wulzinger reports the Daily Mail, adding: "Fans will be fascinated by the huge figures which are divulged."
The "jaw-dropping contracts" were negotiated by super agent Mino Raiola, whose cut from the Pogba deal was "said to be over £41m", reveals the Mail.
This is made of "a near £23m slice of the transfer fee and five instalments totalling £16.39m from United over the course of his contract. It is also claimed that the club paid £2.2m owed by Pogba to Raiola's Monaco-based agency Uuniqq SARL."
According to the Mail, Ibrahimovic is on £367,640 a week, which equates to more than £19m a year, making him the best-paid player in the Premier League. He also earned an extra £2.86m in goal bonuses before a serious knee injury cut short his season.
Pogba earns rather less: his basic wage is £165,588 a week, a little more than £8.5m a year, but he will receive an annual loyalty bonus of at least of £3.4m from next year.
"Signing Ibrahimovic on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain enabled United to offer him such generous personal terms," says the paper. "Pogba, on the other hand, cost a record fee when he returned to Old Trafford and his deal is structured rather differently."
While his salary is lower, "there are substantial incentives built into an exhaustive 41-page contract, particularly if United qualify for the Champions League".
There are other revelations, says The Times, which reports: "The new book says that had Ibrahimovic made 31 Premier League starts this season he would have automatically earned another year at United. However, he made 27 before suffering the injury.
"The book details a series of additional payments and incentives. Pogba, for example, would make nearly £1m more from United if he was named Fifa Player of the Year."