There is no denying that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Manchester United career is all but over, after the big Swede endured a devastating knee injury during United’s 2-1 victory over Anderlecht last Thursday.
The former Barcelona and PSG player could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and his return is not expected until 2018, but Jose Mourinho remained keen to have Ibrahimovic’s contract extended using the one year extension clause in his current 12-month deal.
However, according to The Sun, Ibrahimovic has reportedly turned down the £13m offer, as he believes that it would not be good to earn money when he is in rehabilitation. This clearly suggests that the Swede has quite possibly called time on his Old Trafford career, and has set his sights on the Major League Soccer.
In the pre-match press conference ahead of the crucial clash against Manchester City on Thursday, Mourinho backed the 35-year-old to overcome his physical problems and come out strong.
Jose stated: “The future is a big surgery, a long period of recovery. But the future is also about a very strong guy, mentally very, very strong, who wrote immediately on his social media he will stop when he wants, not when people think.
“It looks to me that he is not going to give up, he is going to fight and I’m pleased. He has fought all his life — since he was born. I don’t see a reason for him not to fight now.”
Despite backing his top goal scorer to come out strong, the Portuguese manager does not know whether the striker will stay at Manchester United, and also admitted that his plans in the summer transfer market have changed dramatically.
“Yes, yes,” replied Mourinho when asked whether his transfer plans had changed. “Because if I don’t have the players for a long period of time obviously it affects.”
Manchester United’s Champions League hopes are still uncertain, and with Ibrahimovic’s injury and Wayne Rooney’s likely departure, the Red Devils are expected to sign two forwards in the summer.
They are heavily being linked with Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Andrea Belotti of Torino, but if United want to pull off these marquee signings, they will definitely require Champions League football at Old Trafford next season.
Written by Pragadeesh Shanmugam. Tweet to get in touch with him.