Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 35, suffered a serious knee injury during Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final win over Anderlecht in April, and is not expected to play again till New Year.
United were keen to extend the Swede’s contract for a second season before his injury, but as per Express, sources close to United say it won’t be feasible for the club to extend the deal of a player who is earning £367,000-a-week (£19 million a year), especially when he is not expected to play for at least the first half of the season.
Though Ibrahimovic videoed himself kicking a ball in his back garden this week, there is no guarantee at this stage that the striker will come back the same player he was before his injury. United would certainly keep in mind what happened with Radamel Falcao, who joined the club on a season-long loan, but struggled to live up to his full potential after suffering a cruciate ligament injury earlier that year.
Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, also admitted this week that the striker’s future was unclear, as he stated: “For now, it is important he recovers well and then we will see. He has had a fantastic time at Manchester United and it is up to the club and myself to see what the future brings.
“He wants to stay in England, he wants to stay at the top. He can be a valuable asset for some other top clubs. We have a lot of offers and ideas and we have to evaluate them. But I think it is respectful to talk to United and to see what all parties want.”
And now, it seems like the Red Devils have made up their mind, with Jose Mourinho already in the market for a replacement of his No 9, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata, and Andrea Belotti reported to be his top targets.
Written by Sidharth Jindal
Sports fanatic with a passion for writing (predominantly football) and “Wants to live life to its fullest.” Writes about the Premier League on his personal blog.