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Manchester, Mourinho and Mendes

With United agreeing a deal with the imperious Jose Mourinho, the fans seem buoyed with visions of the success attained by Sir Alex. While his success may or may not occur the presence of Mourinho’s super-agent Jorge Mendes seems to have been lost on many. 

If you are not aware of who Jorge Mendes is, then I’ll catch you up. Mendes is the super-agent who represents the likes of Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Martial, De Gea, Otamendi, Mangala, Thiago Silva, Diego Costa, Di Maria and the list goes on. This is a man who was responsible for 68% of the transfers from the Portuguese big three (Porto, Benfica and Sporting). So why is Jose Mourinho’s agent so important? 

When Jose first came to England to sign with Chelsea, he brought with him Tiago Mendes, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira, all of whom were represented by Jorge Mendes. This was not just the case with Chelsea, during his time at Real Madrid he signed Carvalho (£6.7m) and Coentrao (£25m) both of whom are Mendes clients. It is a pattern that seems to follow Mourinho wherever he goes, be it Chelsea, Inter, Real or Chelsea round two. As it follows Manchester United will be no different. While this doesn’t seem like a daunting situation for Manchester United fans, there is more.  

In 2014 Mendes not only brokered four of the seven biggest deals in the transfer window netting himself a cool £30 million along the way, along with ex Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon they were investigated by The Guardian for breaching FIFA regulations over third-party ownership. The pair sought to buy players rights through companies based in Ireland and Jersey. When James Rodriguez moved to Monaco from Porto for £38.5m, £3.6m of was paid to Gesitfute (a Mendes owned company) for what was deemed “intermediation service costs”, the figure for this service in James’ £71m move to Real has not been disclosed. This third party ownership while fruitful for Mendes could be potentially dangerous for clubs. Let’s take the United fan favourite Radamel Falcao. When he moved from Porto to Athletico Gestifute gained £3m, he then moved to Monaco for £50m with the “intermediation service costs” not know, and then he came to England and Manchester United on significantly costly loan where his performances disappointed. Finally, when everyone assumed he would go back to Ligue 1 and see out the rest of his waning career, he came back to England on another costly loan to Chelsea. A Chelsea side ran by Jorge Mendes owned Jose Mourinho. Now if Mendes can convince Mourinho to take on Falcao after the season he had at united, you have to wonder what the super-agent can’t do.  

This isn’t the only time Mendes’ influence has cost clubs. Most Manchester United fans will remember the €9m wonder kid that was Bebe, fans may not know that Mendes received €3.6m of that fee. More recently United signed Anthony Martial for a fee that could reach £61.6m, there have been rumouring’s that the fee was so large as to act as a sort of down payment to Jorge Mendes on the ‘next big thing’ – Mourinho? Now whilst this isn’t fact, given all the information on Mendes it would not be surprising and if Mendes has been this involved with United’s transfer activity already, you can only imagine his influence with Jose at the helm. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if United’s financial superiority (3rd in the Forbes list of most valuable football clubs) was once again paraded this summer with a plethora of Mendes’ players coming to United.  

My point to United fans is, be careful what you wish for and hope there are more Martial’s than Bebe’s.  

Follow @_MJMN on Twitter and check his blog "Let's Talk About Football"

Friday, May 27, 2016