Last week, Manchester United supporters were treated to a familiar figure donning on their red jersey one more time; only now, the number 10 sat embezzled at the back, and not the 9 that the Old Trafford faithful saw netting goals week in and week out.
Zlatan Ibrahimović opted to return to United after a successful season with the English side, having scored 28 goals in all competitions before his journey was cut short by a freak ankle injury in the Europa League.
United had released him at the end of last season, and he was effectively a free agent again. Rumors were plenty over his next destination, if any, owing to his age. A reunion with AC Milan was thought to be on the table, as well as a move across continents to MLS side LA Galaxy.
However, it appears that it was the Spanish capital that was the intended destination of the Swedish player, with his agent, Mino Raiola, apparently holding talks with the La Liga giants over a transfer.
But, Madrid simply weren’t interested in Ibrahimović. Moreover, it also appears that star player Cristiano Ronaldo was particularly against such a move.
The Swede isn’t a stranger to the La Liga, having spent a season in Spain with Barcelona, albeit an unremarkable one, where he had fallen out with then manager Pep Guardiola, which eventually culminated in a move to AC Milan.
His success in Italy, and subsequently in Paris with PSG, is what led him to England, to try and achieve glory even in that part of Europe. Whilst the intended move to the Bernabéu would have definitely aided in his desire to end his career on a high note, it is clear that he hopes to do bigger things at United.
With Jose Mourinho believing that the player will be able to make a return to the pitch in early January or so, it will be exciting to see what antics the veteran Red Devil will be up to this season around.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.