One of the hottest topics of real and imaginary gossip over the course of the summer transfer window has been the immediate future doings of Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
Will he go? Will he stay? Will he end up brawling with Jose Mourinho in the centre circle at Old Trafford on Friday night, like a pair of sumo wrestlers, but with raw ego where the flabby bits should be?
I managed to grab an exclusive, completely true and not fictional sit-down with Pogba’s agent, the enigmatic Mino Raiola in an attempt to find out more…
Mino, I’m sure you’re incredibly busy around the closing of the English transfer window, but can you tell me what it means to you to be a football agent?
For me, football isn’t so much about the act of football itself but more about the opportunity to make very rich men live in different cities as often as possible.
Ask yourself this: what is more powerful, a football boot or a calculator? Obviously the answer is a calculator. But only if it is one of the expensive ones, with all the little buttons across the top which the teachers said you were not allowed to use at school.
That is where the magic happens. I used those little buttons at school and within a week I had successfully negotiated the transfer of the head of the science department to a local municipal sewage facility, where his job was to sift through human waste for abandoned jewellery.
He still thanks me…because he is contractually obliged to do so.
It is rumoured that Paul Pogba could be leaving Manchester United before the window closes in Europe. What about the restrictions of the transfer deadline itself? How does that affect your thinking?
It is just trivial red tape, a regulatory piece of frippery. The legal mechanisms are all in place for me to have Pogba declared as an independent state whenever I push a red button that I have had sewn into the inside of my jacket.
After that, Pogba will no longer be a player. He could be a team, a league or even a footballing federation, freed from all FIFA rules. Most importantly, he will pay zero tax. And have a statue of himself built in his capital city, which will be his back garden.
How do you see the remainder of this month playing out for Pogba and yourself?
It is hard to say – the transfer market ebbs and flows like a dinghy bobbing on the waves on an unnamed Mediterranean ocean. It cannot be predicted or tamed. Only one thing is certain – my every waking moment will be devoted to eroding the emotional comfort of Jose Mourinho. He will kneel for me.
What are your future plans?
Look – only a few days ago, I was photographed standing on the back of Zlatan. Once you have done that, there is literally nothing else in this world that can shock or upset you.
But I have plans. And they include one of my other clients, Mario Balotelli. And what we are planning to do to the world will blow your minds.
All I will say is this – by 2019, there will be no more zoos. Anywhere.
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) August 5, 2018