Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola has claimed that the Swedish striker expressed his desire to end his career with Napoli.
Ibrahimovic had spent seven seasons in Italy, playing for Serie A giants Juventus, Inter Milan, and then AC Milan, but apparently wanted to end his stellar career in Naples. That thought emerged after he attended the farewell match of former Juventus defender Ciro Ferrara.
However, Ibrahimovic ended signing for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United on a free transfer this summer, after his contract with Paris Saint Germain expired. The striker put pen to paper on a one-year deal at Old Trafford, with the option to extend a further year.
‘Was Ibra approached by Napoli this summer? The presidents who talk to me, they know that what is said remains between us. We chose United recently, it was our goal, Ibra was also the club’s aim, and we’re now where we needed to be,’ Raiola told Radio CRC.
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‘All I can say is at Ciro Ferrara’s farewell game at the San Paolo, Zlatan called me and told me: “Mino, I want to end my career in Naples”.
‘That’s because the mentality of the Neapolitans is the one closest to his, and if the league remained as it was back then, he might have done just that.’
The 33-year-old has got his life in the north-west off to the perfect start, scoring 4 goals in as many Premier League games.
He smashed a magnificent 25-yard drive on his debut against Burnley, before finding the net twice against Southampton. He failed to get on the score sheet against Hull City, but was back at it again in the Manchester Derby, scoring United’s consolation goal in their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford. He also scored the winner against Leciester City in the Community Shield.
Ibrahimovic was given four days off after the derby, and was expected to sit out United’s first game of their Europa League campaign against Feyenoord.
Mourinho had other plans, however, and the striker came off the bench in the 62nd minute for teenager Marcus Rashford. He failed to help United find the breakthrough they were looking for though, and saw his side slump to a second straight defeat this week, when Tonny Vilhena scored in the 79th minute to win the game for the home side.