Since entering the agency scene as early as the 90s, Mino Raiola established himself as a ‘super-agent’ in the footballing world until his demise in 2022.
Having played a huge role in the transfers of big stars of the past such as Dennis Bergkamp, Pavel Nedved and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Italian agent quickly rose to fame as the man to make the impossible happen for footballers.
His recent clientele included players such as Paul Pogba, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Erling Haaland, with the Norwegian’s transfer perhaps being the last move worked on by Raiola. But the Italian’s unfortunate death came at a crucial juncture as City were in talks with Haaland for a move.
Although Raiola is succeeded by two sons Mario and Gabrielle, as per reports the management of his One agency based in Monaco was entrusted to long-time partner and lawyer Rafaela Pimenta following Raiola’s demise.
The Brazilian has worked with Raiola for the past 18 years and has been a trusted aid for the Italian agent. Given this partnership, it is no wonder that Pimenta herself is a known face amongst Raiola’s high-profile clients such as Paul Pogba who referred to her dearly as ‘Aunt Rafa’ in his documentary.
With major confusion about Haaland’s future in the air, it was Pimenta who stepped up to take over Raiola’s role as she held a number of meetings with City officials in the summer to close the bid budget deal. Furthermore, the Brazilian also played a big role in completing Paul Pogba’s return to Juventus as well.
These prominent dealings for Pogba and Haaland have finally brought Pimenta to the limelight with multiple media sources now calling her ‘the most important football person that no one knows about.’
But the Brazilian has also appeared in the spotlight quite literally recently, as Pimenta was spotted in the stands at Stamford Bridge alongside Chelsea owner Todd Boehly during the Blues’ game against Leicester on Saturday.
Her appearance alongside Boehly has sparked a wide range of rumours involving the Blues.
Following a tough start to the new season, Chelsea’s boss Thomas Tuchel would welcome new signings, especially in attack after both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner left the club.
One of the names on Boehly’s shortlist has been reported to be young Russian attacking midfielder Arsen Zakharyan who currently plays for Dynamo Moscow. Having been awarded the title of the Russian Premier League’s best under-21 player last season, the 19-year-old looks to be an attractive proposition for Chelsea.
The London club are closing in on signing the player following an extensive scouting period as revealed by the player’s agent Pavel Andreev.
But what is interesting here is that Andreev also recounted earlier this week that he is currently working with Pimenta to finalize the transfer and the Brazilian’s appearance at Stamford Bridge perhaps could have been to close Zakharyan’s signing.
Judging by the fast moves already being made by Pimenta it looks like she has certainly stepped up from the role of consigliere to that of the Godfather and can be expected to be involved in some upcoming high-profile transfers.