High-profile football agent Mino Raiola has died at the age of 54 following a battle with lung disease.
Raiola represented the likes of Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Back in January, Raiola underwent checks in Italy after reports said he was rushed to hospital for surgery.
German newspaper BILD said he was intensive care due to a lung disease, although his spokesperson downplayed the visit, saying: ‘Mino Raiola is undergoing the usual medical examinations that require anesthesia. Everything was planned and there were no emergency surgeries.’
Raiola was born in Nocera Inferiore, Italy in 1967 and emigrated with his family to Haarlem in the Netherlands the following year.
A promising footballer growing up, Raiola took over the reins as the head of HFC Haarlem’s youth team aged just 20 in 1987 before beginning his career as a football agent.
Raiola initially worked for Sports Promotions, a sports agent company, and helped broker a number of high-profile transfers involving players switching Dutch for Italian clubs, including the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Michel Kreek and Bryan Roy.
He would go on to represent more than 20 of the game’s top stars across European football and was last year said to be worth around £62million, having reportedly received a £41m cut when Pogba rejoined Manchester United in 2016.
Haaland, Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Verratti, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Matthijs de Ligt and Mario Balotelli were other clients of Raiola.
One of Raiola’s biggest clients, Norway striker Haaland, is set to join Premier League champions Manchester City at the end of the season in a deal worth more than £500,000-a-week.