Who is Fernando Felicevich? Alexis Sanchez's super agent who brokered Man Utd transfer

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The Argentine ex-rugby player represents some of Chile's biggest names, and made a pretty penny from his client's move away from Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez's move to Manchester has been a long and drawn out one, with the Chile international initially set to leave Arsenal for Manchester City in the summer, and then again in January before a late offer from Manchester United put the Red Devils at the top of the queue.

Behind the scenes, one man worked to make it all happen, looking for the best possible deal for his client - and himself. Super agent Fernando Felicevich is Alexis's agent, having helped secure him moves to Barcelona and Arsenal after taking him from Chile to Udinese.

Unlike Cristiano Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes or Zlatan Ibrahimovic's representative Mino Raiola, Felicevich is not as well known worldwide. Goal brings you everything you need to know about the man who Forbes ranked as the sixth most powerful football agent in the world in 2017.


When did Felicevich become an agent?


Felicevich was not always a football agent, actually not getting into the business until he was 33 years old. A former rugby player in Argentina, he studied an MBA in advertising in Paris, and moved to Chile in 2002 to join the McCann Erikson advertising agency.

While in Chile, he met old friend Pablo Lenci, who suggested he move out of advertising and into sports. Thanks to his work for Alexis and other young South American players, Felicevich became known as a shrewd businessman but also a warm, helpful agent, which helped him gain bigger and better clients.

Felicevich's approach means that he does not charge his clients for advice or assistance when he is working for them, instead taking a percentage of the transfer fees whenever his players move clubs. As a result, he stood to make more than £10 million from the sale of Alexis.


Where did he meet Alexis?


Felicevich represented a number of domestic players in South America, including Arturo Norambuena, who was a team-mate of then 15-year-old Alexis Sanchez at Cobreloa. The agent travelled to Alexis's hometown of Tocopilla to meet the teenager's mother, where he became close with the Sanchez family. As a result, Felicevich was hired as the forward's agent, and helped broker a deal for Alexis to join Udinese in 2006.

As he was still a teenager, he was seen as one for the future by the Italian club, and Felicevich helped Sanchez secure a loan move to Colo Colo to continue his professional development in his native Chile. Another loan followed, with Alexis joining River Plate the following season before he broke into the Udinese first team in 2008.

His breakthrough season came in 2010-11 when he scored 12 Serie A goals and was named the most promising young player in the world by FIFA.com, ahead of Gareth Bale and Neymar. After this, Felicevich masterminded a move to La Liga giants Barcelona, with Pep Guardiola spending €26m (£23m) to make him the club's first Chilean player. Although Alexis's time at Barcelona was inconsistent, he was still very much in demand, and Arsenal paid £31.7m for his services in 2014, with Felicevich bringing his client to the Premier League.


Who are Felicevich's clients?


Arturo Vidal Chile World Cup qualifying

Through his friendship and working partnership with Sanchez, Felicevich was introduced to numerous other Chile internationals, and now represents some of the country's biggest names. Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal and Bayer Leverkusen's Charles Aranguiz are two of his clients based in Germany, while he also takes care of business for former Manchester United striker Angelo Henriquez and Besiktas midfielder Gary Medel.

Felicevich helped bring Claudio Bravo to Manchester City from Barcelona in 2016. He still represents numerous players in Chile, including Colo Colo's Claudio Baeza and Cesar Fuentes of Universidad Catolica.

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Player Club
Alexis Sanchez Manchester United
Arturo Vidal Bayern Munich
Charles Aranguiz Bayer Leverkusen
Gary Medel Besiktas
Claudio Bravo Manchester City
Angelo Henriquez Atlas
Felipe Gutierrez Real Betis
Eugenio Mena Bahia
Fabian Orellana Eibar
Cristobal Jorquera Bursaspor
Claudio Baeza Colo Colo
Alvaro Ramos Club Leon
Cesar Fuentes Universidad Catolica
Emiliano Vecchio Santos
Rodrigo Millar Monarcas Morelia
Christopher Toselli Atlas
Sebastian Martinez Huachipato
Sebastian Toro Palestino
Cristian Gutierrez Huachipato
Francisco Sierralta Parma

How much is Felicevich worth?


Felicevich was ranked at number 35 on Forbes' list of the most powerful agents in sport in 2017, with annual earnings of £13.5m. He has offices in Argentina and Peru, and has plans to expand into Brazil in the near future.

Forbes called him "the king of South American soccer", with only five other football agents ahead of him in their annual list. They also estimate his total contract value at £134.3m. The top spot on their 2017 list was shared by baseball agent Scott Boras and football's Constantin Dumitrascu, who represents the likes of Edinson Cavani, Philippe Coutinho and N'Golo Kante.

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