Over the weekend, Mario Balotelli’s agent attacked Jürgen Klopp for not giving his client a chance at Liverpool. It was an oddly aggressive move given Balotelli spent last season on loan, exiled from the club after failing to impress Brendan Rodgers. Now, agent Mino Raiola is back for a second go at the Liverpool manager.
When Balotelli returned, few thought it strange that Klopp would see him behind the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino, or Danny Ings on the Liverpool striker depth chart. Which meant he was never likely to be in line for significant pre-season minutes. Agent Mino Raiola, though, saw things differently.
“He was a player of Liverpool and you need to treat him with respect,” said Raiola in his second attack on Klopp since the close of the transfer window saw his client complete a move to Ligue 1 side Nice. “He didn’t do that. Mario asked several times to have a friendly match. He never considered him for 60 days.”
This time around, though, Raiola didn’t stop there. He went on to say that while he won’t stand in a player of his’ way if he wants to play for Klopp and Liverpool, he certainly won’t seek out to do business with the club or manager. And at this point, it would be a surprise if either Klopp or Liverpool felt very much differently.
Raiola’s other high-profile clients include former Liverpool target Henrikh Mkhitarryan, who some fans were surprised to see head to Manchester United over the summer with no apparent interest in trying to hijack the deal on Merseyside. He also represents Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Blaise Matuidi, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“I don’t need to go to Klopp to do business,” he added during his interview with TalkSport late on Monday night. “If Klopp wants a player I represent and he wants to talk to me, good. If he doesn’t want to talk to me, I can say to my player, ‘he doesn’t want to talk to me so you can choose another agent or go with a lawyer.’
“I will never be standing in the middle of the interest of my player, but it doesn’t mean I have to shut up when I see things are not being done in a good way.”