Mino Raiola is not quite Aidy Ward in terms of agents Liverpool fans cannot stand, but he’s heading down a similar path due to comments made about Jurgen Klopp in the past few days.
We’re bored of writing about Mario Balotelli’s exit, and you’re probably bored of reading it – so this hopefully puts the matter to bed.
After all, the Italian striker is a Nice player now, but his agent Raiola couldn’t help but fire repeated digs at Klopp upon Balotelli’s departure – claiming Liverpool’s manager disrespected the forward.
“At the end of the day he [Balotelli] was a player of Liverpool and you need to treat him with respect – and he [Klopp] didn’t do that,” Raiola told talkSPORT – cited in the Express.
“Mario asked several times to have a friendly match. You can train all you want but, at the end of the day, you need 90 minutes, you need a friendly. He never considered him for 60 days.
“I’m not judging him as a trainer – I don’t like him as a trainer at all – but you have to let him play.”
Today during Klopp’s press-conference before Saturday’s tie with Leicester (cited in the Echo), he was naturally asked about Raiola, Balotelli and the emerging spat, but played the question with a straight bat.
“I didn’t isolate him [Balotelli],” Klopp began, before taking a big pause…
“I know him,” he continued with a big smile on his face… “That’s all. I’m not interested. It’s part of the business.
“It’s all good. It’s a free world, he can say what he wants.”
A real touch of class from Klopp, that. Without making the kind of rude, blunt comments Raiola has, Klopp simply stated his right to make a decision because he knows Balotelli.
And besides, why would Klopp choose a forward he doesn’t want in pre-season friendlies? The summer is about preparing his team for the upcoming season, not giving wantaway strikers run-outs for the sake of it.