Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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AC Milan fear season-ending injury for Zlatan

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic could have suffered a season-ending injury, AC Milan fear.

The Swedish superstar, 38, is said to have injured his Achilles in training on Monday as he took a shot.

Per our partners Sky Sport in Italy, they say that Ibrahimovic is having scans to determine the severity of his injury.

Ibrahimovic suffered a similar injury earlier in 2020 as he was out during January and February and it appears he has aggravated his Achilles once again.

After a successful, and eventful, two years in Major League Soccer with the LA Galaxy, Zlatan returned to AC Milan for a second-stint and his current contract is due to run out at the end of June.

AC Milan were keen to exercise the option to extend his deal until the end of next season, as Zlatan had scored four goals in his first 10 games back at the Rossoneri, including a stunner in the Milan derby against one of his other former clubs, Inter Milan.

Serie A aims to restart the 2019-20 season in mid-June and play until the end of July, as Italy has bit hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. But if Zlatan has suffered a serious Achilles injury, that could be it for his second-coming at AC Milan and perhaps for his career overall.

Surely we haven’t seen the last of Zlatan? Surely he has at least another 10 years, at least, left in the tank?

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.

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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.

Ibrahimovic scores during Hammarby friendly

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been spending the coronavirus shutdown back in his home country of Sweden, and is taking advantage of his position as owner of a Swedish club to stay fit and in game shape.

The AC Milan striker is part-owner of Hammarby, and the 2020 Allsvenskan season had yet to begin before the coronavirus brought European soccer to a halt, so the teams are hoping to continue ramping up to the start of the campaign once things return to normal. Zlatan has identified a mutually beneficial opportunity, and took to the field to play his part as Hammarby players joined up with players from Bajans and IK Frej split into two squads.

Ibrahimovic was given the green light to take the field by AC Milan and he found the back of the net in the process.

Zlatan’s ownership of Hammarby is controversial in Sweden. He is a product of the Malmo youth academy and is a legend at his boyhood club, but invested in their bitter rivals Hammarby in November, causing an uproar in his home country. A statue of Zlatan at Malmo was repeatedly defaced and angry fans protested his status as a club legend.

It behooves Ibrahimovic to stay fit and ready, given that his future with AC Milan is up in the air. He joined in January on a six-month contract after the end of the MLS campaign, and has been a positive influence on the Serie A side, scoring three goals in eight league games. However, the departure of chief football officer Zvonimir Boban, with whom Zlatan had a close relationship with, has left his future with the club in question.

Chelsea offers stadium hotel to medical staff; Zlatan launches fundraising page

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England’s National Health Service has accepted Chelsea’s offer to use the Millenium Hotel at Stamford Bridge free of charge to its personnel.

Many workers at the hospitals around Southwest London travel a great distance to work and Chelsea made the offer in order to keep fresh those taxed by the demands of coronavirus treatment.

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Any workers or people presenting symptoms will not be allowed to stay in the hotel, and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will cover all costs over a two-month period. After that period, the demand will be re-assessed.

From ChelseaFC.com:

The initiative came from club owner Roman Abramovich and, after contact with the NHS was made by Chairman Bruce Buck, it was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff. Mr Abramovich will be covering the costs of providing the accommodation.

EDIT: Manchester United hero Gary Neville has since announced that his hotel is doing the same for the NHS.

Meanwhile, AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has set up a fund to help the fight against COVID-19.

Ibrahimovic says it’s not about “just a video” and that funds will be “directly donated to Humanitas to help strengthen Intensive Care and First Aid at the hospitals of Rozzano / Milan, Bergamo, Castellanza (VA) and Turin.”

Italy has been hit hard by the virus. Ibrahimovic has played 304 of his 751 career club games for Serie A clubs AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Juventus.

Of course, the video concludes with a sly bit of classic Zlatan, “And remember: If the virus don’t go to Zlatan, Zlatan goes to the virus.”

As of post time, the page has raised $165,000 of its $1.16 million goal. The page is here.

More coronavirus connections to soccer:

Red-hot Rebić scores again as AC Milan tops Torino

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MILAN — Ante Rebić kept up his scoring form to lead AC Milan to a 1-0 win over struggling Torino in Serie A on Monday.

The Croatia international beat his marker to redirect a cross from the center of the area midway through the first half at the San Siro.

The score raised Rebić’s tally to six goals and an assist in eight matches since he earned his starting spot – a move that coincided with Zlatan Ibrahimović’s return to the Rossoneri.

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Bouncing back from a derby loss, Milan moved up to eighth and just beyond the Europa League places. The seven-time European champion is hoping to return to continental competition after voluntary withdrawing from this season’s Europa League to pay for UEFA financial fair play breaches.

Torino, meanwhile, lost its fifth straight, with new coach Moreno Longo still unable to turn things around in his second match in charge.

Ibrahimović narrowly missed a curling shot shortly after the break.