Sometimes in football, clubs just have to dance with the devil and in the eyes of many chairmen and executives across the continent there is nobody more troublesome to deal with than Mino Raiola.
It can seem as if Raiola views unrest between his players and their clubs as an achievement rather than a deterrent. Earlier this year, he brazenly announced Paul Pogba was finished at Manchester United. Recently, he was strutting in front of the cameras in Spain as he held talks with Barcelona and Real Madrid over Erling Haaland's future, much to Borussia Dortmund's chagrin.
But look at the names of those players - Pogba and Haaland are two of the biggest in the sport. And there are so many more under his guidance - Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mathhijs De Ligt and Marco Verratti - the list goes on. There is a reason why Raiola represents these figures.
So what sort of character is he to deal with? Why do players love him and clubs loathe him? And is there a way to win him over and have him on your side? Sportsmail takes a closer look at the man who seems destined to play a central role in this summer's transfer window.
Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Mino Raiola (centre) is loathed by many throughout football but there is a reason why so many of the game's best players choose him to represent them across the course of their careers, such as Henrikh Mkhitarytan (left) and Paul Pogba (right)
Raiola is pictured with Pogba, who faces an uncertain future at Manchester United
Even just a cursory skim through the expanding array of stories of meeting Raiola will show that he likes wining and dining. It's something that extends to his childhood, where his father ran a pizzeria in Holland and from the age of 11 he'd help wash the dishes. As he got older, he would wait tables and oversee more of the day-to-day running.
Back in January 2020 in a pre-pandemic world, he was pictured by Sportsmail outside a Mayfair restaurant with all his fellow 'super agents', such as Jorge Mendes, Jonathan Barnett and David Manasseh. Those photographs would not have gone unnoticed in the boardrooms of many major teams across Europe.
And his appetite for good food is seemingly unabashed, regardless of the company he keeps. The story goes that in his very first meeting with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he ordered enough pasta to feed six people and wolfed it down while showing the Swede how his scoring stats were 'trash'.
Raiola allegedly ate enough pasta to feed six people when first met Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left)
Raiola with fellow agent Jonathan Barnett outside a Mayfair restaurant in January 2020Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
If you're meeting him in a cafe, restaurant or at the training ground, don't keep Raiola waiting. He doesn't like it at all.
In an interview with the Financial Times back in 2016, he claimed he twice walked away from meetings with Luciano Moggi in Italy due to bad timekeeping. The first in the early 90s was when Moggi was at Torino and Raiola was unknown. He happened to bump into Moggi later the same day at a restaurant and confronted him.
'If you're this unpleasant to me, you will never sell a player in Italy,' Raiola claims Moggi said. We all know how that prediction went.
Years later, Moggi was on the phone to Raiola expressing Juventus's interest in signing Pavel Nedved.
They agreed to meet at midday in Florence, with Raiola saying he told Moggi: 'I'll be there at 11.50am. But I'm leaving at 12.10pm, and then the price doubles.'
Moggi wasn't on time and Raiola left. Nedved eventually joined Juventus in 2001 for around £32million.
Former Juventus supremo Luciano Moggi clashed repeatedly with Raiola over the years
They say that the modern-day footballer doesn't take so well to the 'hairdryer treatment' that Raiola's nemesis Sir Alex Ferguson was so famed for.
Yet, despite their well-chronicled fall-out over Pogba, it seems Ferguson and Raiola aren't exactly a thousand miles apart when it comes to delivering a rocket.
Ibrahimovic says in his autobiography that they had their first meeting when he was an Ajax player and Raiola brandished his scoring record 'trash' in comparison to Serie A strikers such as David Trezeguet, Filippo Inzaghi and Christian Vieri. They had all scored over 20 goals in their last 25 or so matches while Zlatan had a tally of five in the same period.
'Do you think I'll be able to sell you with stats like that?' Raiola scoffed. They left the meeting