Reports: Txiki Begiristain and Mino Raiola have a good relationship
The question that always gets asked is whether Manchester City 'would even be willing to deal with Mino Raiola to sign Erling Haaland?'. The Italian super-agent is known to stir the pot and says some pretty questionable things at times. He's also known to ask for ridiculous commissions and is just generally disliked by so many influential people within the game. But, the simple answer to the question is yes.
Back in 2018, Mino Raiola described Pep Guardiola as a fantastic coach but a coward and a dog, to which Pep responded by dropping the bombshell that Raiola had offered him Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at City. Raiola, in an interview with the BBC, responded by saying: "I never spoke to Pep Guardiola. I would not speak to him about players; I would speak to Manchester City. They are a fantastic club with a fantastic manager."
The pair's relationship is clearly not the best, and it's not hard to see why fans would be sceptical of a move for Haaland for this reason. But, the facts are Raiola will deal with City if that is the best option for his client. As he has said numerous times, he respects Guardiola as a coach, and in an interview with The Athletic in recent days said:
"As for Mr Guardiola, I’ve closed the book already a long time ago. Everybody knows what I think of him personally and he can say what he thinks for me personally. For the rest, I think he’s a great trainer. And that’s how it is. I will not shut up for anybody. I’ll give my opinion, I think that it is my right."
It was reported by the reliable Sam Lee of The Athletic on March 7th that Raiola gets on well with City Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, which came as a surprise to some fans as it had been reported back in 2019 by Miguel Rico of Mundo Deportivo that Begiristain 'doesn't even want to negotiate with Raiola'. Fast forward to today, reliable pair Pol Ballus and Paul Hirst of The Times reported on Raiola's visit to Barcelona and Madrid offices to discuss the future of Erling Haaland and the financial situation the Spanish giants find themselves in. At the end of the piece, it was stated that one thing City had in their favour in the pursuit of Haaland was the fact Begiristain has a good relationship with Raiola and that it is thought Guardiola's past troubles with the agent would not prove to be an obstacle if the 20-year-old decided to move to the Etihad Stadium.
It's also important to note the role Alfie Haaland plays in all of this, too. David Ornstein of The Athletic reported a few weeks ago that it is thought the former City captain is the centre-forward's main representative. It's probably not a case of 'whatever Mino says goes'.
The Mino Raiola factor won't stop Manchester City going for Haaland. The agent won't stop Haaland going to City, either.