David Conn in the Guardian:
The agent Pini Zahavi negotiated a £3m payment for himself from Middlesbrough when he arranged the club's £7.5m purchase of his client player, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, from Portsmouth, in the summer of 2005. Sources close to the deal say the fee - the largest ever disclosed in English football - is payable by Middlesbrough to Zahavi in instalments over the course of Yakubu's contract, so Zahavi will earn the £3m total only if Yakubu stays at the Riverside for the full five-year term.
Very few agents' payments have been revealed to the football public; some were published in the Premier League's previous "bungs" inquiry 10 years ago; Manchester United have been open about theirs since 2003; others have been disclosed during court proceedings. Of those which are known, Zahavi's potential £3m far exceeds the payments of over £1m which United paid to the agents of Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo, and the £1.125m United agreed with Zahavi for negotiating Rio Ferdinand's contract at Old Trafford.
Portsmouth shared their £7.5m fee for Yakubu with his previous club, Maccabi Haifa, who agreed a 50% sell-on clause when they sold the striker to Pompey in April 2003. When Pompey sold Yakubu to Boro two years later, the arrangement held, and both clubs received around £3.75m - not a great deal more than Zahavi could make over the five years.
Highest agents' fees disclosed
£3m The fee Pini Zahavi negotiated when Yakubu Aiyegbeni moved from Portsmouth to Middlesbrough
£1.5m Payable to Paul Stretford's Proactive agency after Manchester United's £20m purchase of Wayne Rooney in August 2004 (Figure published by Man United)
£1.339m, £1.129m, £1.125m Next highest fees published by Manchester United, to Roger Lindse, Ruud van Nistelrooy's agent; Jorge Mendes, agent to Cristiano Ronaldo; and Pini Zahavi, for representing Rio Ferdinand.
£775,500 Payments to Jonathan Barnett's Stellar Group by Newcastle United, between May 2002 and November 2003, for renegotiating the contract of an unnamed player (Revealed in Newcastle's VAT and Duties Tribunal case, 2006)
Paid to Rune Hauge's InterClub Ltd by Brondby after Arsenal signed John Jensen for £1.57m in August 1992. Hauge paid £285,000 of his fee to Arsenal's manager, George Graham.