Mino Raiola reportedly trying to seal Manchester United move for Inter striker Mauro Icardi
The Argentine has also been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid.
Mino Raiola is the closest thing to a football agent being a household name. Suffice to say, football fans are well-accustomed to seeing the super-agent. With a glittering client roster including Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Italian-born Dutchman has established himself as arguably the most influential player representative in the game.
Alex Ferguson once called him a 'shitbag' but, while we can't vouch for Raiola's character, we know he is a remarkably driven and successful agent.
Pertinent to this story, though, he draws a lot of water at Old Trafford. Raiola was key in securing several of his clients bumper contracts with Manchester United and is reportedly looking to utilise his strong recent connections at the Premier League side in order to make Mauro Icardi the latest expensive addition to Jose Mourinho's squad.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Raiola is hoping to use his influence to convince Inter to sell to United. Icardi is represented by his wife, Wanda Nara, who has reportedly opened talks with Inter chief executive Piero Ausilio over a new contract for the striker.
However, according to Corriere's report, Raiola believes he can use his skills as a fearless negotiator to mastermind a stunning move to Old Trafford.
Icardi, one of the most clinical finishers in European football, has made no secret his intention of playing in the Champions League. Although Inter are keen on keeping him at the San Siro, his future may hinge on the Nerazzurri qualifying for next season's competition. They are currently third in Serie A, just a point ahead of Roma in fourth and two points above fifth-placed Lazio.
Whether United want him or not is another story. Although the 24-year-old is an attractive proposition, having scored 18 goals in 24 appearances this season, he is likely to come with a hefty price-tag and eye-popping wage demands. On top of that, Mourinho is not thought to be actively looking for a striker. Romelu Lukaku was signed for £75m last summer while January recruit Alexis Sanchez can also play up front if needed. Mourinho also has Marcus Rashford and Anthonty Martial, both of whom can operate centrally, vying for regular starting berths.
In addition, Real Madrid are reportedly interested in Icardi's services. The Champions League holders are looking for a proven finisher as a long-term replacement for Karim Benzema and Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli appeared to let the cat out of the bag in January when he suggested that Icardi's head had been turned by speculation linking him with a switch to the Spanish capital.
"I spoke with Icardi and told him what I've told all of them: not to relax, that, if he's doing well, he'll be called up," Sampaoli said via AS. "I know that Real Madrid are following him closely. He is also a little tempted by Real Madrid."