An Italian super agent, Mino Raiola, has been confirmed dead after a brief illness in Milan at the age of 54.
Raiola was the agent of superstars Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romelu Lukaku and Marco Veratti, Channels Television reports.
According to reports, the 54-year-old had been hospitalised in Milan where he underwent surgery for an undisclosed illness.
It was also speculated that the illness was non-life-threatening as he was expected to make a full recovery.
A statement from his family read: “In infinite sorrow, we share the passing of the most caring and amazing football agent that ever was.
“Mino fought until the end with the same strength he put on negotiation tables to defend our players. As usual, Mino made us proud and never realised it.
“Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football. His presence will forever be missed.
“Mino’s mission of making football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.”
He started his career as a sports agent after leaving football in the late ’80s and became involved in the transfers of several high-profile Dutch players to Italian clubs, including Ajax player Bryan Roy (in 1992 to Foggia), and Dennis Bergkamp (in 1993 to Internazionale).
In August 2016, the multi-linguist made a world record transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United of €105 million-plus bonuses of €5 million, surpassing the former record holder Gareth Bale.
Raiola made a reported €25 million from Pogba’s transfer; subsequently, he bought the former Miami home of one of America’s most famous mob bosses, Al Capone, for €9 million.