Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sticking around at the LA Galaxy.
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Ibrahimovic, 37, has agreed a new one-year deal with the Galaxy as his debut season in MLS was a huge success on a personal level, even though his team failed to make the postseason with a defeat on the last day of the season.
It had been rumored that Ibrahimovic would move back to Europe amid strong links with a return to AC Milan, but he has decided to stay in North America for at least another 12 months as his contract has now been restructured to make him a Designated Player for his second season in MLS.
Speaking about his decision to sign a new deal for the 2019 season, Zlatan was typically understated about the whole thing…
“I’m not finished yet with MLS. I started good. I did good but I’m still not satisfied with the outcome,” Ibrahimovic said. “I still have things to do and I see my first year as warming up. My second year will be a big difference because now I know the league. My first year I was warming up. The second year I come to finish.”
New Galaxy GM Dennis te Kloese praised Zlatan’s impact in 2018.
“We are very pleased to sign Zlatan to a new contract that will see him return for the 2019 season,” te Kloese said. “He showed his value last season and we look forward to him representing our club next year. With Zlatan returning, we will continue to improve our team in advance of the season.”
Zlatan scored 22 goals and added 10 assists in just 27 regular season appearances, and although LA missed the playoffs due to their dramatic 3-2 defeat to the Houston Dynamo on the final day of the season, you have to think this season they will have a stronger squad after hiring te Kloese.
The fact that Zlatan has signed a new DP contract now means that LA will have to restructure other deals as Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos are both on DP contracts, and so too is Romain Alessandrini. The likelihood is that LA can use TAM to back Alessandrini off a DP contract, but it will be intriguing to see how this squad is rebuilt.
And, oh yeah, the Galaxy still need a new head coach. At least whoever does come in knows that scoring goals will not be a problem next season. Sorting out the defense and midfield has to be the priority.