Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he believes this will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s last season at Manchester United.
The legendary Swede has endured what is probably the worst phase he has ever gone through in his glittering footballing career to date over the last year.
Everything appeared to be going magnificently for the 36-year-old in his first season at Old Trafford, having made a stellar start to his United career with a brilliant 28 goals and 10 assists in 46 games across all competitions.
However, towards the fag end of the season, calamity struck. A knee injury suffered in the quarter-finals of the Europa League – which United went on to win without him – saw him sidelined for the rest of the season, and half of the current one.
WATCH: Manchester United Agree Three Deals
The club had initially decided to release him, but after he showed remarkably rapid progress while continuing his recovery at Carrington, the Red Devils couldn’t resist the temptation and decided to offer him a new deal.
However, after making 7 short appearances, during which he still managed to score a magnificent free-kick, it soon became clear that Ibra had rushed his comeback, and he was soon back on the sidelines again – not due to injury this time, but to work on his fitness.
A lot of rumours have circulated in recent weeks claiming that the legendary striker has been weighing up a move to America to join Major League Soccer side L.A Galaxy.
In his press conference in the build up to Monday night’s clash against Crystal Palace, Mourinho all but confirmed that the Swede will be moving on at the end of the season.
“For Zlatan, we all think it’s his last season at Manchester United. It will be a very personal decision for him to play or to stop,” said the Portuguese tactician.
“I think he’s won the right of choosing his life, his future. He’s such an amazing player and had an amazing career, only that awful injury in the wrong moment broke a fantastic couple of seasons he could and should have with us.
“This season has been really difficult for him. He’s not injured, but does he feel totally happy, ready and convinced that he’s in conditions to help the team in this moment? No, but he’s such an honest guy and such a champion he only wants to be back with that feeling of ‘I’m totally ready for it’.
“So he’s working hard and hopefully his evolution brings him to that level he wants to have a positive answer.”