Writer George Rinaldi takes a look at superagent Jorde Mendes’ link to Wolves takeover and what it might mean for the club.
With FOSUN International completing a takeover at the club, super-agent Jorge Mendes is much more than just a man in the background.
Mendes, who we all know has clients that range from Jose Mourinho to recent EURO 2016 winner Cristiano Ronaldo, is a man who can be bigger than a football club.
Julen Lopetegui, a client of Mendes, was all set to join the adventure at Costa-Del-Wolverhampton until the call of the Spanish national team came calling.
Clients of Mendes along the lines of Ivan Cavaliero, Anderson Talisca and Helder Costa have all been handed big links to moving to Wolves should the takeover take place, but is this news all it would be cracked up to be?
From a first glance perspective, and arguably what many of us are thinking, this is brilliant news. Talisca, albeit very unlikely to join, could easily walk into a Premier League club such as the rumoured Liverpool. Cavaliero and Costa are much more believable, considering Sheffield Wednesday were targeting the former.
It should be of note that there would be an influx of Portuguese talent over the time Mendes is with Wolves, considering his national identity. The majority of his clients either play in Portugal or derive from there. This is no different from Lopetegui or any of the three players that have been linked.
However, with the star players that they would become at Wolves, the trouble then starts for if they would remain at the club. In a hypothetical situation, if Wolves do get promoted and then stabilise as a mid-table team, what’s stopping Mendes leaving the project and taking his clients with him? Nothing, that’s what.
The prime example comes from Valencia in Spain when back in 2014 their turmoil looked over following Mendes’ involvement in the changing of the guards. He brought in his first ever client – Nuno – to coach the club as well as an influx of people close to Mendes. These included Danilo, Enzo Perez, Joao Cancelo and Zakaria Bakkali.
By having players close to Mendes, e.g his clients, makes it easier for players to join but just as easy to leave. They would play for Jorge, not the club, sending a fair chunk of their payments to their agent. Once Mendes gives the OK to move them on, they’d go. You’d think Mendes, if fronting a club, would want what is best for Valencia. Nope. He sold one of his clients and star man Nicolas Otamendi for big money to Manchester City. A generous cut going his way no doubt.
It’s understandable that Wolves would be a stepping stone, which team isn’t? Unless you are Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona you will lose your players.
As long as Wolves fans realise this, there’s no harm done. It’s business as usual but just at a much higher level, which is everything we could ask for. But don’t expect Mendes to stick around for long, or his clients. Money talks, you know?