Real Madrid are reportedly eyeing a potential swoop for former Barcelona and Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as goal-scoring woes continue.
According to reputed Spanish journalist Manolo Lama (h/t The Sun), reigning European champions Real Madrid are planning a shock January move to sign LA Galaxy superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Real Madrid sold star man Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer transfer window and have struggled to replace the Portuguese maverick. With Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio failing to deliver the goods in the final third of the pitch, the Merengues have endured a torrid start to the 2018-19 campaign.
Real find themselves seventh on the La Liga table, following their 2-1 defeat to Levante this past weekend, which was their third loss in a row. They are now without a victory in five consecutive games across all competitions (L4 D1) and have scored just once in those games, with that goal too coming after a record drought of 482 minutes.
Manager Julen Lopetegui finds himself in a struggle to save his job, only months after taking over the reins as the Real Madrid boss. However, irrespective of whether he stays or is axed by Los Blancos, signing a new attacker in January is a top priority for the club. And to that end, they have identified former Barcelona superstar Ibrahimovic as a potential target.
The former Sweden international joined LA Galaxy earlier this year from Manchester United, after struggling to make a significant impact at Old Trafford in his second season due to injury problems. With age catching up with Zlatan and injuries hampering him, many were quick to write the striker off.
However, he has proved his detractors wrong with a sensational start to life in the MLS. So far in his short stint with LA Galaxy, the former Barcelona and PSG marksman has bagged 22 goals in 26 matches, while also setting up seven more.
And speaking of Real Madrid’s interest in the veteran forward, Lama told Tiempo De Juego, “Madrid wants a forward and are actively studying the potential signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the winter market.”
Despite playing for Barcelona in the past, Ibrahimovic will have no qualms about donning the colours of their arch-rivals. The 37-year-old’s agent Mino Raiola has previously gone on record stating that his client wanted to join Real Madrid upon leaving Barca in 2010.
Raiola had said, “Zlatan wanted to play for Real [Madrid] when he left Barcelona. It would have been the ideal move. The perfect revenge against Guardiola – his behaviour was terrible, shocking.”
Zlatan’s contract with LA Galaxy runs out at the end of the year and he will be available on a free transfer when the transfer window opens in January, paving way for a move to the Bernabeu.
Ibrahimovic, despite his age, could prove to be a shrewd short-term solution for Real Madrid, considering his experience and the leadership qualities he brings to the table, to add to his goal-scoring prowess, that don’t seem to have waned one bit, judging by his displays for LA Galaxy.
However, it remains to be seen if Real Madrid actually act on this reported interest in the former Barcelona man or pursue other targets, with German international Timo Werner also believed to be on their radar, while Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard continues to be strongly linked as well.