Mino Raiola has declared himself ‘p***ed off’ after reports in Italy suggested he had died – but the prominent football agent is seriously ill in hospital.
The football world was left stunned on Thursday by reports from his native country that Raiola had passed away at the age of just 54.
But it emerged that these reports were premature with the man himself and his doctor ‘outraged’ at reports of his demise.
Raiola himself took to Twitter to write: ‘Current health status for the ones wondering: p****d off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to ressuscitate [sic].’
Alberto Zangrillo, head of the anaesthesia and intensive care unit of San Raffaele hospital in Milan, said: ‘I am outraged by the phone calls from pseudo journalists who speculate on the life of a man who is fighting.’
Raiola’s right-hand man Jose Fortes Rodriguez told NOS in Holland: ‘He is in a bad position, but he hasn’t died.’
Another source confirmed he is ‘very, very ill.’
Real Madrid tweeted their condolences to Raiola’s family before swiftly deleting the message after Italian news channel TgLa7 broke news he’d passed away.
Raiola is the agent for such stars as Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Raiola was hospitalised in Milan back in January and underwent very delicate surgery but the nature of the illness was not revealed.
Reports said at the time the condition wasn’t life-threatening and that Raiola would begin a period of rehabilitation at home – but he is now back in intensive care.
The multi-lingual football agent worked his way up from humble beginnings working in a pizza restaurant to become one of the most influential figures in the world game, brokering mega-deals involving some of the most prominent players.
He is representative to the likes of Pogba, Haaland, Ibrahimovic, Romelu Lukaku, Mario Balotelli, Marco Verratti and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Forbes estimated last year that Raiola’s personal wealth was in the region of £62m.
It was reported that Raiola earned as much as £20million from the world record £89m sale of Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016.
It had been shaping up to be a busy summer for Raiola, with Pogba and Haaland among his clients expected to be on the move but his condition casts doubt over whether he will be able to broker these deals.
During the early 1990s, Raiola worked for the Sports Promotions, a company in Holland, and assisted with the transfers of several high-profile Dutch players, including Dennis Bergkamp, to Italian clubs.
Raiola studied the methods of his colleagues to learn how to conduct such transfers by himself, making extra photocopies of the vital documents, before striking out to negotiate the move of Czech star Pavel Nedved from Sparta Prague to Lazio in 1996.
Since then, Raiola has overseen numerous Ibrahimovic transfers around Europe, as well as Balotelli’s move from Inter Milan to Man City in 2010 and his subsequent switch to AC Milan.
He famously fell out with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson before Pogba joined Juventus in 2012.
Ferguson was unhappy about the way he feels Raiola unduly influenced the Pogba family to force the 19-year-old player from Old Trafford in 2012.
‘I distrusted him from the moment I met him,’ said the United manager. ‘There are one or two football agents I simply do not like — and Mino Raiola is one of them.
‘We had Paul under a three-year contract and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. But Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco.
‘He and I were like oil and water. From (the first meeting) on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.’
But by the summer of 2016, he oversaw the moves of three players – Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Mkhitaryan – to Manchester United all in the same window.
Raiola reportedly pocketed £20m from the Pogba deal, allowing him to purchase the former Miami home of notorious American mob boss Al Capone.
The Godfather of Transfers: When Raiola lifted the lid on Pogba’s £89m transfer to Man United to Sportsmail in 2016
BY SIMON JONES
You need to have big balls to complete a world record transfer and Jose Mourinho has those balls…
Mino Raiola is telling it straight, as he likes to. ‘It’s not just a case of spending the money,’ he insists. ‘It’s shouldering the responsibility of spending that money and saying, ‘yes, this is my man’. Arsenal have the money but do they have the balls?
‘I respect Arsene Wenger. He has a philosophy that says these figures don’t match what I want to do, so that’s OK. Real Madrid? The will of Zinedine Zidane was strong but we were not sure it was the will of the club.
‘Yet I think Manchester United showed the world this summer that they were not going to stand still, they want to be the best.