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Jul 8, 2013

Star trio not moving this summer - agent

One of the busiest football agents in world football, Mino Raiola, expects to have a rather quiet summer after declaring three of his most high-profile clients will not be going anywhere.

Mario Balotelli appears to spit towards Inter Milan fans during the Milan derby
Balotelli signed for AC Milan from Manchester City in January.

Raiola’s client book includes Mario Balotelli, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, but, despite almost perennial interest in the trio, he claims they will not be budging from respective clubs AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

The door will not remain closed forever, however, with Raiola particularly concerned about Balotelli’s future in Serie A.

“Milan are building a big project around Mario and they regard him as the reference point of their team, and he is perfectly happy there,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“He’s not moving for the time being, but Serie A is no longer a league for top players. The day will come when it will be impossible to keep Balotelli there.”

Raiola last week controversially suggested that AC Milan and Inter Milan should merge to form a stronger and more competitive club on the European landscape.

Serie A continues to drop down UEFA’s five-year coefficient rankings and lost its fourth berth in the Champions League last season.

Furthermore, a lack of investment in infrastructure since the 1990 World Cup has led to ageing stadia and a slump in attendances, although one club is bucking that trend and setting an example to the rest of the league.

Juventus have won back-to-back Serie A titles since moving into their new Juventus Stadium home, and Raiola has also witnessed their resurgence being reflected in their reluctance to part with Pogba.

“I received an indecent offer for Pogba,” Raiola said. “But he is not going to leave Juve this summer.”

Nor is Ibrahimovic going to leave PSG, despite the expected arrival of Edinson Cavani from Napoli. In fact, Raiola believes the pair will prove to be an excellent pairing.

“Ibra is an ideal partner for anybody,” he said. “He is an all-round attacker and helps his team-mates get the best out of themselves.

"Even I could score goals with him. Ibrahimovic is 100% certain to stay at PSG, and if [Chelsea coach Jose] Mourinho were to ask me, then I’d say he’s 110% certain to stay.”

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