Football agent Mino Raiola’s close friend Jose Fortes Rodriguez has denied reports of his death as fake news continues to spread online.
It has been widely reported that the Italian has passed away at the age of 54, but Rodriguez insists that he is still alive in hospital.
Doctor Alberto Zangrillo from San Raffaele Hospital in Milan has added: “I’m outraged by the phone calls from pseudo-journalists speculating on the life of a man who is fighting to survive.”
Raiola had previously taken in a spell in hospital in January and underwent surgery on an unspecified issue.
A statement from his official Twitter account at the time read: “Mino Raiola is undergoing ordinary medical checks that require anaesthesia. All was planned and no emergency surgery happened.”
Raiola has sent a new message to his followers amid the speculation over his health, which reads: “Current health status for the ones wondering: pissed off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate.”
Raiola’s star-studded client list includes the likes of Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and in 2020 it was reported that he had a net worth of £62 million ($77m).
The experienced agent has a reputation for securing big-money contracts for his clients, and is reportedly helping to negotiate terms for Haaland ahead of his proposed transfer away from Borussia Dortmund this summer.
Matthijs de Ligt’s €73m (£62m/$77m) move to Juventus from Ajax in 2019 was overseen by Raiola, who also manufactured Gianluigi Donnarumma’s free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain following his Milan exit last year.
Raiola represents Italy duo Mario Balotelli and Marco Verratti too, as well as Ajax’s latest prospect Ryan Gravenberch and Inter’s Denzel Dumfries.