Zlatan Ibrahimovic is seemingly on the verge of a move to Premier League giants Manchester United after seeing out his contract at Paris Saint-Germain.
The biggest transfer of the summer revolves around one of the best free-agents in footballing history, with Swedish Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic looking at one last conquest in his already stellar career. All the reports are pointing at a move to the Premier League, with Manchester United emerging as strong favourites recently.
The possibility of a deal was further strengthened by the arrival at Old Trafford of maverick Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho. Zlatan shares huge mutual respect with his former manager at Inter Milan even though they worked together for just one season.
The big Swede has previously stated he would be ready to die for Mourinho, while the latter has always spoken of Zlatan in glowing terms. Zlatan was even one of the first to congratulate Mourinho when he was officially appointed as the manager of Manchester United.
After all the speculation, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is now all set to join the Red Devils on a one-year deal and the paperwork is set to be completed ahead of Euro 2016, according to SkySports.
Zlatan has gone from strength to strength and been a pillar of consistency for Paris Saint-Germain in his 5 years at the club and the striker has belied his advanced years this past season. While most attacking players above the age of 30 get used to playing deeper in midfield or in a substitute role, Zlatan has been the attacking spearhead of the Parisian club.
The Swede has scored an astonishing 52 goals in all competition for PSG, while registering 16 assists. This turnover would make any top club in Europe very eager to land his services, as Zlatan has showed he is still more than capable of playing the target man even at the ripe age of 34.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be available on a free transfer, but that doesn’t mean he’ll come cheap. His wage demand is reportedly in the region of £220,000 a week, an astronomical amount to pay for a 34-year-old.
The amount rules out bids from clubs apart from those that can boast of being the most financially powerful in Europe. The likes of AC Milan, Tottenham and West Ham United, who have been linked with the Swede, would probably not be too keen to take on this ‘free’ transfer.
Manchester United on the other hand do not bat an eyelid at huge wage demands, especially considering the £300,000 a week they pay their aging captain Wayne Rooney.
While the most obvious role for Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be that of centre-forward at whichever Premier League club he joins, there are reports surrounding his possible arrival at Manchester United which state the Swedish striker could take the next step in his career at Old Trafford.
At 34 years of age, Zlatan may well be preparing for a time when he won’t be able to terrorize defences as he is now. The longevity of a striker could stretch to even more advanced years, but that would mean playing a bit part role or appearances off the bench, something that Ibrahimovic will definitely not like as he would always want to be the star of the show.
One way he could achieve that is taking the plunge from professional footballer to professional management. Zlatan is reportedly considering joining Manchester United as a player for the last stage of his career where he is still capable of delivering the goods week in and week out. But in a twist to the tale, the agreement will also allow for the Swede to take up the role of assistant manager at the club once his playing days are over.
This would be the perfect long-term solution for the Red Devils and Zlatan. The former would enjoy the services of one of the best players in the world in a player and then mentor role, while the latter could hone his management skills under one of the best in Jose Mourinho.