Listen to talkSPORT’s interview with Andrea Radrizzani IN FULL here!
By talkSPORT – @talkSPORT
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has told talkSPORT he did not speak out about Wolves’ link with Jorge Mendes because he disagrees with it, but because he wants to follow the same model at Elland Road.
Radrizzani has written to the Football Association, Premier League and EFL to seek clarification on the relationship between the Championship leaders and top Portuguese agent Mendes.
The Leeds owner expressed his concern over the link on Twitter after Wolves ran out 3-0 winners over his side last week.
Wolves have a number of players who are represented by Mendes in their squad, as well as manager Nuno Espirito Santo, while a subsidiary of Wolves owners Fosun has a share in the Portuguese’s agency.
Speaking in an interview with talkSPORT host Jim White, Radrizzani clarified that he had not meant to sound critical of Wolves with his comments, which sparked a strong reaction online, and insisted he was merely pushing league bosses to explain the rules.
“First of all I want to apologise to Wolverhampton if somebody has taken this tweet to mean something that denies their success on the pitch and their quality – it’s nothing to do with that,” said the 43-year-old Italian.
“They played a great game against us and they are a great team. They are on top of the league on merit. They’re doing exactly what I wish to do for Leeds United and congratulations to them so far for their season.
“My tweet was in a moment of frustration, but it was also done on purpose to have attention on something that I tried to raise as a subject to the league and other club owners since the beginning of the season.
“I’m not accusing anyone, but I would like to have clarification of the rules.
“A part of the regulations talks about the influence of intermediaries in the management of the team.
“There are probably three agents in the world who control 60 per cent of the top players or more, so obviously these top agents have very deep relationships and influence with the top European clubs because they bring them a lot of players – this is normal.
“When you work with these top agents, it means you have the opportunity to have top players from top teams.
“This year Wolves, good for them, have players on loan from Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco – big European clubs. The year before they had Helder Costa [who arrived on loan from Benfica before completing a permanent move last summer].
“If that’s possible, I would like to do the same.”
Radrizzani has big plans for Leeds and he added that he is willing to use his strong contracts with top agents and clubs to boost the Whites squad as they aim for Premier League promotion.
“I have a relationship with Jorge Mendes, with Mino Raiola, I have a lot of good long-term friendships with top agents in the world, so if this is ok I would like to do the same,” he said.
“If the regulations allow, I’m very happy. I’m happy to move on to build a better squad if possible.
“I also have personal relationships with important clubs, so I will try to leverage my relationships with them as well.
“So I would like clarification from the EFL about their rules, but also from the Premier League, because if we’re working in the Championship with rules that are not then accepted by the Premier League, there’s no point of doing it, because all of this, everything we’re doing, is aiming to be in the Premier League.”
Listen to talkSPORT’s interview with Andrea Radrizzani IN FULL above!
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