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Zlatan on the move to England? Five Premier League destinations

| 19.02.2016

Robbie Purves | February 18, 2016

Maverick Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to become a free agent this summer and has eyes on a Premier League switch.

Speaking after PSG’s 2-1 first-leg win over Chelsea on Tuesday night, he was asked about a move to our shores and put the Premier League’s elite clubs on high alert.

“I have another three months here and then what will happen? Big things will happen,” he said. “Is the Premier League something I fancy? Let’s just say I’m in shape.”

Ibrahimovic is likely to be on the lookout for a blockbuster one-year deal at an English side this summer before heading to sunny Florida in 2017. The 34-year-old could meet up with former teammate and good friend David Beckham, to join the ex-England captain’s new franchise in Miami.

Paris Saint Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Sweden shakes hands with David Beckham after their League One soccer match between PSG and Montpellier at Parc des Princes Stadium, in Paris, Friday March 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The Swede has scored 21 goals and gained eight assists in 20 Ligue 1 appearances this season, meaning Premier League sides will still be tempted to take on the mercurial’s expensive contract.

With Zlatan set to move this summer, Coral writers take a look at five potential destinations…

Zlatan and Mourinho reUnited?

If Jose Mourinho does indeed take charge of Manchester United and Ibrahimovic is reunited with his former manager, we could be in for something special. The big man flourished under Mourinho at Inter Milan and ended his spell there with an impressive 57 goals in 88 domestic appearances.

Mourinho and Ibrahimovic have a great relationship and Coral has the Red Devils 9/4 favourites to sign the marksman this summer.

Coach Jose Mourinho of Inter Milan, left, reacts with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, right, after scoring a second goal against Panathainikos during their group B Champions League soccer match at the Olympic stadium of Athens, on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008. Inter Milan beat Panathinaikos 2-0. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Sealing Zlatan’s signature could provide Ed Woodward with the blockbuster name he craves and help inject goals into a team that has struggled to net this season. He may be 34, but still remains terrifically prolific.

If he joins, he will likely become a fan favourite and soon enjoy a cult hero status, similar to that of Eric Cantona.

However, United look set to miss out on a Champions League birth which may deter the Swede from following in compatriot Henrik Larsson’s footsteps – joining on a short-term deal.

There is little-to-no chance that he will move to United’s rivals Manchester City, as Zlatan didn’t exactly get on well at Barcelona with incoming manager Pep Guardiola. The marksman called him a “spineless coward” in the past and suggested the Spaniard may be ‘scared’ of him.

Ibra at the Bridge?

Zlatan would like the idea of living in England’s capital but the move depends heavily on who the next Chelsea manager will be. It could be current Italy manager Antonio Conte, who plays a similar style to Mourinho, or even current Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, who won a Serie A title with the Sweden international.

Chelsea's Diego Costa, left, and PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic jump to head the ball during the Champions League round of 16, first leg, soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)
The deal could see Eden Hazard go the other way after saying an offer from the French giants would be difficult to turn down.

Zlatan is 8/1 to play for the Blues next season.

Ibrahimovic to Chelsea would have a similar feel as the Andriy Shevchenko deal in 2006. A huge name coming on big wages, however Zlatan still remains prolific. Shevchenko was reaching the end of his career and only scored nine domestic goals in three years at Stamford Bridge.

Gunners to go all out for striker?

Arsenal need a striker and there’s no better man on the market to solve that problem than Ibrahimovic.

The enigmatic forward linking up with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Santi Carzola is an attractive prospect for Arsenal fans. He could excel at Arsenal with fast creative players buzzing around him, and would only have to worry about sticking the ball in the back of the net.

The current PSG forward is 20/1 to play in an Arsenal shirt next season.

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, left, competes with AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the second leg of their last-16 Champions League soccer match at Emirates Stadium, London, Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

However, signing him would go against everything Arsene Wenger has done in the past and would make the manager break the wage structure.

There is also the fact that Zlatan may not actually want to join the Gunners, as 17 years ago he had the chance to trial at Arsenal but declined the offer.

“Arsene Wenger asked me to have a trial with Arsenal when I was 17. I turned it down. Zlatan doesn’t do auditions,” he declared.

Wenger may be reluctant to prise open his wallet but signing the goal machine may be that final push Arsenal need to win their first league title since 2004.

Spurs to seal super Swede

This is not a deal that would have been muted had Mauricio Pochettino’s men not been performing so well this season.

If Spurs sustain their title challenge and end up winning their first league title since 1961, or even come close, it would propel the North London club onto another level in terms of attracting players.

Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur manager

Sweden’s record goalscorer is 50/1 to play for the north London club next season

However, Pochettino, like Wenger, has stated that it is not his philosophy to make big, flashy signings. He would rather promote young players and develop the talent he already possesses within the squad.

Anfield to have new star

Liverpool, along with Spurs, are unlikely destinations for Ibrahimovic, nonetheless it remains a possibility.

He may not fit in with Jurgen Klopp’s high energy, pressing football but current strikers Christian Benteke and Divock Origi are far from prolific.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool.
Daniel Sturridge cannot be relied upon to stay fit and therefore Liverpool are in a tricky situation. Do they wait for Benteke to come good and Sturridge to be sticky taped up, or will they look to add Ibrahimovic to their squad?

Liverpool are 50/1 to be Zlatan’s next club after the 2016 summer window.


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Robbie Purves