The relationship between Fosun, Wolves and super agent Jorge Mendes may not be as bad as the media are making out writes David Evans.
Is this really happening?
The most poweful agent in world football is helping to provide players to Wolves.
The same agent whose client list includes Cristano Ronaldo and Jose Mourniho.
Who is this man?
Uncles Mendes of course. Or to the wider world, Jorge Mendes.
Very odd really when you take a step back.
Since coming into the picture at Molineux following Fosun’s takeover in the summer of 2016, he has remained in the shadow of the proceedings.
More noteably so this summer, Wolves have drawn vast criticism from the media with their involvement with Jorge Mendes and his potential influence over recruitment.
This reaction became amplified with Wolves record breaking signing, Ruben Neves from Porto, for a mouth watering £15 million. The most expensive signing in the Championship.
So, is the involvement, advisory, or however it is being classed, of Jorge Mendes right? Should it be allowed or is this the way football is going these days?
Firstly, great fact for you. Jorge Mendes used to run a video shop.
We can just imagine him with his blockbuster blazer, collecting a VHS copy of ‘The Last Action Hero’ from the back room, when a brainwave hit him.
Forget video rentals, being a football agent is the place to be.
Mendes’ first client? Nuno Espirito Santo. What a coincidence!
I could tell a great story about how Mendes helped Espirito Santo make a move to Deportivo La Coruna. However, it’s quicker to read it here.
How influencial Jorge Mendes is at Wolves is still unclear. Only those involved in the inner circle will truly know.
Wolves have already stated that he is not in charge of recruitment at the club as this would be against the rules.
So, is the role of Mendes at Wolves uncomfortable?
Well, to a degree, yes.
There’s no denying that there is an element to this that doesn’t feels right. Wolves are leaning on Mendes for recruits, but what calibre of player and financial implications could we be getting into?
Here lies the Catch 22 of Jorge Mendes.
It feels uneasy that he is being leaned on for new players, but why wouldn’t use utilise the little black book of the world’s most powerful football agent?
Surely Mendes will have more pearls than stones at his disposal.
A raft of summer signings over the last couple of years have heavily been Mendes clients. To the point where it has become a bit of an running joke.
You hear stories about how Jorge Mendes influnce at other clubs, particulary Valencia, seemed to be very sour with fans.
Could the scenario at Wolves actually be any different? Or are we just in denial, hoping, like some relationships, that it’ll be ‘different this time’?
Well, in theory, it could be. Thanks to Fosun.
Shanghai Foyo are a company which is majority owned by Fosun supremo Guo Guangchang. This buisness bought stakes in Mendes’s holding compang Gestifute.
Where as (from my understanding from reading articles online you need to bare in the mind), other teams have sought out Mendes for help, in the case of Wolves, the relationship with Fosun is more of buisness.
There may a personal relationship there, but Fosun looking to Jorge Mendes is not only using their powerful resources, but employing the services on one of their businesses.
You could argue that in this case, there is more pressure for Mendes to deliver the goods. Fosun will have expectations, and Jorge Mendes will need to deliver.
Summer recruitments last year, apart from the oracle that is Costa, weren’t all convincing successes, for different reasons.
Fosun will be expecting big things from the players he has helped to and may still bring in from his portfolio this season.
If they don’t work, don’t expect Fosun to put further trust in Mendes for much longer.
Jorge Mendes role as at agent to Wolves will fully reap its rewards if the club achieve Premier League status.
The calibre of player that Mendes can attract will be easier.
In reality, trying to convince a talented portugese youngster to swap Benfica for a Championship slug fest isn’t the easiest sales pitch to make.
The times, they are a changin’
Is the role of Jorge Mendes just a sign of how football is continously changing?
Agent’s influencing the transfer market doesn’t feel right, but it may be where we are going.
Mino Raiola has a well known filafax of recruits, with the likes of Pogba, Lukaku and Zlatan on his list. All of these have rocked up at Manchester United.
Jorge Mendes will obviously be getting a nice stake following his transfers to Wolves, less than what Raiola will be receiving.
So if both clubs are leaning on each agent in the same way, why are Wolves the exception?
Take the ride
Other questions remain. Is Mendes using Wolves as a way to expose his talents to the Premier League? Will we just become part of his cyle of clubs, with Wolves a stop gap in a Portugese conveyor belt?
Ultimately, results will be the answer.
If players perform and results go our way, no-one will be questioning his counsel. Only praising the position we now find ourselves in, on and off the pitch.
There will always be an element of doubt about this one, but we also need to count our chickens.
Time to re-board the Wolves rollercoaster people. Just leave a space for that well tanned fellow over there.