The self-proclaimed ‘Super-agent’, Jorge Mendes has expressed his interest in adding Manchester United’s breakthrough striker Marcus Rashford to his list of clients, after it emerged the teenage did not have professional representation.
Rashford stormed into the first-team at Old Trafford on the 25th February, earning his first start as a result of injuries sustained by Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial. United manager Louis van Gaal was forced to throw Rashford in at the deep end – the rest is history in the making.
Mendes already has his fingernails deep in the flesh of Manchester United, stemming back to Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Old Trafford. The Portuguese has maintained close ties with the club through executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward – keeping friends close and enemies closer. The likelihood of Jose Mourinho becoming United’s next manager would only strengthen his standing at the club.
Move aside Ed Woodward, Jorge Mendes is the next Godfather of Manchester United.
Who is Jorge Mendes?
Jorge Mendes is fast becoming one of the most powerful figures in football. When combined, his list of clients could construct one of the most impressive sides in the domestic game. With Mourinho at the helm, a potential starting eleven could include Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa, James Rodriguez, David de Gea and potentially, Marcus Rashford.
Mendes is a persuasive figure and has publically expressed his interest in becoming Rashford’s agent, although he is by no means the only football agency to offer their services to the striker. The Manchester United academy product is currently represented by his older brother, Dwaine Maynard, also receiving support from Danny Welbeck’s brothers Chris and Wayne.
The England hopeful has 14 months left to run on his current £1,500-a-week deal, but he is expected to sign a £15,000-a-week extension at the end of the season.
Some of the biggest transfers in world football have all been orchestrated by Jorge Mendes; take a look at the superagent’s list of commission spinning deals over the past five years:
Why Should Rashford and United Fans be Worried?
Jorge Mendes has met frequently with Old Trafford representatives to negotiate the Jose Mourinho’s seemingly imminent transition into the Manchester United hotseat.
If (when?) Mourinho arrives, we will see two distinct power bases coming into fruition within the red side of Manchester. Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, will be aligning himself with the influential Mendes – the man who negotiated a deal for Anthony Martial and kept David De Gea at the club just last summer.
Rashford may yet be another pawn in Mendes’ diabolical game of chequers. As representation for the United starlet, Jorge Mendes will acquire yet more invaluable influence over proceedings in Manchester – expect to see a great deal more of the superagent around Old Trafford.
During Mourinho’s second year at Real Madrid, Mendes had Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Fabio Coentrao, Di Maria and Marcelo Vieira as clients at the Bernabeu; over 50% of the starting 11!
That’s a reputable power base, and not one to underestimated – Mendes could potentially twist the arm of players looking to overhaul certain members of a club hierachy.
Jorge Mendes has parasitic tendencies, likely to come with the territory of being an agent, he finds routes to burrow into his host club and manipulates them to his own gain.
One source tells of how Mendes virtually had an office in Real’s Valdebebas base under Mourinho’s reign. Despite having no direct connection with the club:
“Mendes was free to wander everywhere bar the gym and dressing room, enjoying the free breakfast buffet with the coaching staff in the cafeteria every morning, joking with his own band of client players.”
Undisclosed Real Madrid Source
Alex Ferguson famously described Mendes as “the best agent I’ve dealt with, without a doubt”; that quote now features on the Portuguese business card.
Conflicts of interest are synonymous with individuals like Mendes. Whilst he is smart, experienced, impressive and influential, United’s destiny under his control would quickly begin to emulate a Shakespearean tragedy – or if you prefer a cinematic simile – like finally letting Sauron get his hands on the ring he’s coveted.
Stories of Caution for Manchester United and Rashford
Diego Costa joined Portuguese side Braga at just 18 years of age. Within a year, Costa moved to Spanish giants Atlético Madrid. Not that Chelsea’s revitalised striker knew a great deal about it:
“Jorge told me I had to get a flight to Madrid, I knew nothing of what was going on and when we arrived he told me I was signing for Atlético Madrid,”
“We were in the house of Atlético sporting director Jesús García Pitcarch, and I didn’t even know who he was.”
Mendes is quick to put his own interests first and will happily throw any other party under the bus to get what he wants.
The night before the Champions League final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich at the Bernabéu, an official from Real Madrid approached Mourinho under the instruction of Mendes; holding a contract for the coach to sign and confirm his switch to the Spanish giants.
Mourinho, understandably stressed, resented this unwelcome distraction on the eve of such an important game:
“Listen, get away from here! Let me play the Champions League final! My word is my word!”
After later speaking with Superagent Mendes, Mourinho quickly reconsidered his outburst and signed his new contract the same night… who works for who?
Young Marcus Rashford needs to consider his options very carefully, if he signing a deal with the devil, Jorge Mendes may open immediate doors – but everything Mendes does has an ulterior motive…