Zlatan Ibrahimovic is never far away from being headline news. These comments from the veteran Swedish striker ensure this is once again the case.
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Ibrahimovic, 36, hasn’t featured for Manchester United since December after suffering a setback following his speedy comeback from a serious knee injury last April which saw him feature seven times this season in all competition before breaking down.
Asked in his homeland this week if a move to Major League Soccer, with the LA Galaxy repeatedly linked with signing him, is close to happening, here was Zlatan’s response to Swedish media.
“I did not know that several Swedes went to MLS,” Ibrahimovic said. “That means it’s tempting to play in the United States. Los Angeles is a nice city and I’ve been there a lot on vacation. It is laid back. I think it’s rumors all the time [about my future]. When I play and when I do not play it is rumors. That’s good, that means I live.”
Ibrahimovic appears to firmly open the door to a move to MLS and his manager at United, Jose Mourinho, has previously stated he will not stand in Zlatan’s way if he wants to end his career playing in North America’s top-flight and said the following on Friday.
“We all think it is his last season at Manchester United. It will be a very personal decision about whether to play or to stop. He has won the right to choose his future, his life with an amazing career. This season it has been really difficult for him. Is he injured? No. Does he feel totally ready and totally convinced to help the team in this moment? No. He is such an honest guy and such a champion that he only wants to be back with that feeling that ‘I’m totally ready for it.’ He is working hard.”
The concern for the Galaxy will be Ibrahimovic’s knee injury which kept him out for seven months and still seems to be nagging the former Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Barcelona and PSG striker.
Still, his return of 28 goals in all competitions for United in the 2016-17 season proved all the doubters wrong and if he can regain full fitness in the final months of this season, perhaps his move to LA will be wrapped up by May 1 when the transfer deadline is over. There is also the option of Zlatan being a free agent on May 13 when his short-term deal with United expires.
Moving from his club future to his international future, Sweden’s all-time leading goalscorer retired from the national team after EURO 2016 but calls for him to go to the 2018 World Cup this summer are mounting.
Here’s what he had to say about that about being part of Janne Andersson’s squad as Sweden have been placed in a Group of Death in Group F alongside Germany, Mexico and South Korea.
“I miss the national team. If I want, I do it. I want to feel I can deliver a good performance,” Ibrahimovic said. “We’ll see, it’s a tough question. I want to feel that I can perform and give back. I don’t want to come just because I’m somebody. The door isn’t closed for anything… I don’t think anyone needs to call. If I want to, I’m there, that’s how it is. But one thing at a time. When I can do what I want to, I’ll have other thoughts.”
That chilly draft you can feel is because Zlatan is leaving the door open to literally everything…
But why wouldn’t he? His contract his soon up at United with clubs in the U.S., China and elsewhere all interested and if Sweden need him, he should go to the World Cup and come on late in games to deliver goals, like he always has done.