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Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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Transfer rumor roundup: Zlatan to Sweden or Bologna; Tolisso to Man Utd

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Where next for Zlatan Ibrahimovic? One of his former bosses says it will not be AC Milan.

The tamper is strong in Bologna.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

I Veltri coach Sinisa Mihajlovic says he’d like to see the megawatt striker join his club. Mihajlovic played at Inter and moved into the coaching staff when Ibrahimovic joined the club from Juventus in 2006.

From Goal.com:

“He called me a few days ago and we’ll see what he decides to do in the summer,” Mihajlovic told Serbian show Vece sa Ivanom Ivanovicem. “He certainly won’t remain at Milan, it remains to be seen whether he’ll join us or return to Sweden.”

A return to Sweden would be an intriguing plot. Ibrahimovic started his journey to become a national hero at Malmo, earning a statue near the stadium. But his purchase of a stake in Swedish club Hammarby led to anger, as vandals cut off the statue at the ankles.

He’s played for rivals (Juve, Inter, AC Milan) but this would be an eye-popper, as would his taking the field as both a Sweden national team icon and polarizing figure. But with Zlatan, you can’t even rule out massive Malmo rivals Helsingborg or Goteborg.

Bologna could be a good fit, with Mihajlovic not just an old friend but an able coach.

He was hired by Bologna in January 2019 and he brought the club from the relegation picture to a 10th-place finish. The club is 10th again this season, just five points back of a European place.

Mihajlovic showed remarkable strength in coaching the club while being treated for leukemia. He was shuttled from the bench back to the hospital in a late August match.


Manchester United is being added to the list of clubs looking at World Cup winner Corentin Tolisso.

Tolisso, 25, has also been linked with Arsenal after arriving in a Bundesliga record transfer from Lyon in 2017.

He’s only played around 1000 minutes this season and is a doubt to return after season-ending ankle surgery. Tolisso has 21 France caps and was a part of the World Cup-winning squad in 2018.

For his career, Tolisso has 14 goals and 12 assists with Bayern in 68 games, a bit better than his 29 and 17 in 160 for Lyon (though those figures include his formative years).

He’s an excellent passer who has not been asked to do a ton defensively over the past two seasons, though he was a box-to-box star in Lyon and had better numbers in different roles during his first two seasons in Germany.

His contract is up next summer and Bayern may want to cash in now.

Serie A: Roma beaten 3-2 by Bologna as crisis deepens

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ROME — Musa Barrow scored twice to help Bologna win at Roma 3-2 in Serie A on Friday as the Giallorossi’s crisis worsened.

[ MORE: Report: Bayern make $22-million bid for USMNT’s Dest ]

Bologna moved up to sixth, one place below Roma, following a third successive win.

Roma was booed off the pitch. The Giallorossi have won only one of their past six league matches, losing four of them.

Roma was looking to bounce back from losing to Sassuolo 4-2 but gifted the opener to Bologna in the 16th minute as Chris Smalling inexplicably left Barrow’s cross, allowing Riccardo Orsolini to tap in at the far post.

Roma leveled in the 22nd when Bologna defender Stefano Denswil bundled Aleksandar Kolarov’s cross into his own net, but Barrow restored the visitors’ lead just four minutes later as his effort was deflected into the top corner.

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It was Barrow’s first start since joining on loan from Atalanta and he doubled his tally six minutes into the second half when he raced from the halfway line before curling into the bottom right corner.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan headed in Bruno Peres’ cross to halve the deficit but Roma’s chance of leveling diminished 10 minutes from time when Bryan Cristante was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Orsolini.

Main takeaways from MLS contract deadline day

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Major League Soccer saw a lot of big names in the news as “Contract Deadline Day” played out across the U.S. and Canada.

— The New York Red Bulls watched two all-timers walk out the door, as Bradley Wright-Phillips did not get a new contract and the club declined its option on Luis Robles (STORY).

— Not a player move, but Austin FC announced the hiring of former NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna to the same position.

[ MORE: PST’s talk 1v1 with Reyna earlier this season ]

— Toronto FC is yet to reach a deal to keep Michael Bradley in town, but remains in contract talks with its captain. The same is true for Nicolas Benezet, while Drew Moor is out-of-contract.

— And that’s also what’s happening in Portland with Diego Valeri, the longtime star in talks with the team despite not having his option picked up.

Chicago Fire announced a new branding initiative, changing its logo from a classic crest to something else and dropping the SC for an FC. Like Columbus before them, everyone will still call them the fire and ignore the SC, FC, or whatever see. It’s what happens when you take a formal nickname.

The club also cut ties with playmakers Nico Gaitan and Aleksandar Katai.

— Minnesota United remains in talks to bring back Reading loanee and reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year winner Vito Mannone, and that means longtime backstop Bobby Shuttleworth will hit the open market.

— Orlando declined its option on Dillon Powers, and also let the clock run out on the contract of one-time megastar Sacha Kljestan.

— Real Salt Lake did not reach an agreement with Kyle Beckerman on a new deal, though MLSSoccer.com thinks he’s still in the mix.

— New England is letting Juan Agudelo walk into free agency.

— Atlanta United exercised the contract option for Julian Gressel, but he’s being badly underpaid and the club needs to find salary room for a proper new deal.

— Thierry Henry is keeping his two brightest attacker, with Ignacio Piatti getting another year at the club and Saphir Taider seeing his loan from Bologna made permanent.

— The Philadelphia Union did not exercise their option on Marco Fabian, and are letting Haris Medunjanin leave without a new deal.

— Roman Torres did not see his option exercised by the Sounders, and Kim Kee-hee is also leaving the club.

— Sporting KC waves goodbye to Seth Sinovic, Krisztian Nemeth, Benny Feilhaber, and Gedion Zelalem.

Report: AC Milan begins talks for Zlatan return

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According to a report by Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, AC Milan has begun preliminary talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic via his longtime agent Mino Raiola.

Ibrahimovic played the last two seasons for the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, and lit the U.S. league on fire with 53 goals in 58 games. The Swedish international was his usual lightning rod self throughout his MLS tenure, claiming on multiple occasions that he was the best player to ever play in Major League Soccer.

Romano says that nothing is immediately imminent and that Zlatan will take his time deciding on his future, saying he could know in the “next weeks” where he will head.

While Zlatan did not release his intentions upon leaving the Galaxy, a return to Serie A has been heavily rumored for weeks. He played for AC Milan from 2010-2012, and prior to that spent three seasons with Inter Milan from 2006-2009 as well as two seasons with Juventus from 2004-2006. He won six Serie A titles between the three clubs, including the 2010/11 Scudetto with AC Milan.

There have also been significant reports linking Ibrahimovic to Serie A side Bologna where Zlatan is friends with manager Sinisa Mihajlovic. The Serbian boss has battled leukemia this season but has decided to coach through it, and Zlatan reportedly wishes to show his support by signing up to play for the squad.

Report: Galaxy leading way in Zlatan pursuit

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A report out of Italy hints at a win for the LA Galaxy when it comes to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Football-Italia says the best offer sent the way of the big Swede, 38, is from the Galaxy, at about $15 million over two years.

MLS can pop its collar that the report says Ibrahimovic doesn’t believe Bologna is a big enough club to tempt him into a move away from LA, where he was MLS Best XI in consecutive seasons.

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The report also notes that Napoli interest has cooled, while AC Milan (more on them later) and Manchester United have not made serious offers for the man with 456 career club goals and 173 assists between the Galaxy, Ajax, Man United, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain.

Knowing the math, and that Zlatan has scored 53 times in 58 matches for United, you wonder whether he’s not hunting 500 club goals. He’s also a known trophy hunter. Both of those paths are markedly easier with the Galaxy than Bologna, and Ibrahimovic is already comfortable and locked in a fierce rivalry with Carlos Vela and LAFC.

Zlatan also had 116 caps with 62 goals for Sweden and is one of the biggest names to grace Major League Soccer’s pitches. Of course there’s a chance at his age that he could break down, or his form could drop off a cliff, but for now another run as both villain and hero in a major MLS market would be a win for the league (even if he regularly touts himself as bigger than the league).

While we have not seen Ibrahimovic in a top league since he was injured for Man United, there’s little doubt he could still do a job over there. He’s only 2.5 seasons removed from a 28-goal, 10-assist season in all comps for Man United.

Don’t sleep on the idea that AC Milan could make a call to Ibrahimovic’s people, having scored just three goals in their past four games including high-profile 1-goal losses to Roma, Juventus, and Lazio. Milan has just 11 goals in 12 league outings, and was supposed to be a Serie A threat without the schedule congestion of Europe.