Ibrahimovic next club: Market moves on Man Utd amid Mourinho rumours
Holly Thackeray | May 21, 2016
Zlatan’s next stop?
It’s been mooted for some time that well-travelled Sweden superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic would move on from Ligue 1 giants PSG this summer, as a free agent in search of a fresh challenge.
The now 34-year-old striker said recently: “I am not at PSG next year. What happens next year, I don’t know – but for the moment, I will not be here.”
Though the Malmo-born marksman, top scorer with in Ligue 1 this term with 38 goals from 31 games, added in characteristic fashion: “I don’t believe they can change the Eiffel Tower for my statue, even the people behind the club.”
Since then, Ibrahimovic’s last game for the Parisians at the Parc des Princes, before which the forward tweeted “I came like a king, left like a legend”, was marked by a standing ovation and Zlatan masks in the crowd.
As the Swede now prepares to finish his stint on a high with a Coupe de France crown, Coral contemplate where the frontman would fit, and the changing odds…
Manchester United odds take a tumble
A few months ago Man Utd were as long as 9/4 to nab the superstar sharpshooter, though they then moved to evens before significantly shortening further into an odds-on 1/4 price to move to Old Trafford.
There were recent reports the Red Devils had offered Ibrahimovic a one-year contract with an option for a second, though these were refuted by agent Mino Raiola, who said: “In this world we have to accept some journalists use their imagination and make things up. The story is not factual.”
So, perhaps the market has moved so dramatically due to increasing rumours that Ibrahimovic’s former boss at Inter Milan Jose Mourinho, with whom he is known to enjoy a close relationship, is close to being announced as next Manchester United manager.
With Wayne Rooney trying his hand at a midfield role, and young-guns Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in need of striking support, acrobatic Ibrahimovic would seem the perfect forward fit – old enough to provide valuable experience but still a short-term stop gap that would not halt the progress of youth. Having hit just 49 goals in 38 Premier League games, the Red Devils need a reliable and ruthless goal scorer.
Stars still out at LA Galaxy
Having turned out for prestige clubs of impressive stature such as Ajax, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, Ibrahimovic seemed non-plussed to be instead trying his luck in an unbalanced Ligue 1 back then not befitting his talent, with noveau riche PSG’s ambitious but not polished project.
Ibrahimovic has been as integral as anyone in propelling the Parisians into a real force over the past four seasons, so it is not out of the realms of possibility that he may fancy the glamourous challenge of joing LA Galaxy in the MLS for a similar chance.
The Galaxy are 7/4 second-favourites to land the lethal striker, but problems with their quota of Designated Players could force LA to wait, with David Beckham’s Miami franchise also waiting in the wings in future.
While New York City (12/1) and New York Red Bulls (25/1) are also in the frame, with the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard all already living the American Dream.
Ibrahimovic in East Asia?
The rise of rich Chinese Super League clubs ready to compete with European players willing to follow the money trail has stunned many across the continent, with big name stars such as Jackson Martinez having already joined Guangzhou Evergrande from Atletico Madrid.
One of many, a potential Ibrahimovic East Asian adventure would no longer be a shock, and could be incredibly lucrative for a striker arriving at the back end of his career.
So, Coral are offering odds of 8/1 for the big Scandinavian to join any Chinese club as his next move.
Romanatic Rossoneri return
Speaking of East Asian investment, Serie A side AC Milan is apparently on the verge of a takeover by a Chinese consortium, which should theoretically pump money into the ailing Italian giant.
Ibrahimovic’s wife is believed to favour a move back to Milan for the Lombardy lifestyle, but it widely accepted that the Rossoneri, who missed out on Champions League football, would be able to fork out for the intuitive marksman’s wages. Unless significant funds arrive…
Zlatan himself stated: “I have a good relationship with Milan and I care about them. They are the biggest club I played for.
“It wasn’t me who wanted to leave when I left Milan, it was other people, but it went the way it went. Now we’ll see how the future is. You never know if the future will be the same as the past, but let’s see. All will be revealed soon.”
So, a Rossoneri reunion at 10/1 does not look as unlikely as before, with Ibrahimovic having already proven he is potent in Serie A and the potential for the creative striker to support Colombian poacher Carlos Bacca a mouthwatering prospect.
Conte makes Chelsea interesting outsiders
Ibrahimovic was the scourge of Chelsea in the Champions League this season, and perhaps his performances understandably caught the eye of owner Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea have drifted from 8/1 to 16/1, their odds doubling, which could make them cracking value as surprise contenders for the Swede’s signature. Antonio Conte’s impending arrival could make the dethroned former Premier League champions an intriguing prospect again, with the Londoners tipped to try for a new frontman after Diego Costa’s disappointing season.
Or, for a round-up check out our rumour reels.