Former Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being linked with a shock return to Old Trafford ahead of the January transfer window.

As per a report from Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb, as carried by The Sun, Manchester United are considering bringing Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to the club in the winter transfer window and to that end have made contact with the veteran striker. But, they face stiff competition from Serie A giants AC Milan.

Ibrahimovic enjoyed quite a fruitful stint with Manchester United, having signed as a free agent from Paris Saint-Germain in 2016. The giant Swede helped the Red Devils to the Carabao Cup and UEFA Europa League triumphs in his first season in England before a serious knee injury derailed his second campaign with the club.

After scoring 29 goals and setting up ten more in 53 matches across all competitions, Ibrahimovic left Manchester United in March 2018 and joined MLS outfit LA Galaxy, where he swiftly rediscovered his top form. The former Barcelona striker struck 22 goals in 27 matches in his first season in the US and has gone on to better those returns this time out.

On his way back to Manchester United? (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

On his way back to Manchester United? (Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

Ibrahimovic finished the 2019 MLS season with a mind-blowing tally of 31 goals and 8 assists from 31 matches, although he was unable to lead them to the conference final. And, with his contract with LA Galaxy set to expire at the end of the year, a number of clubs are considering the possibility of signing the Swedish superstar on a free transfer in January.

Ibrahimovic’s former club AC Milan are understood be heavily interested in re-signing him as they look to bounce back from a disappointing start to the 2019-20 season, while there has been some interest from another Serie A outfit Bologna. However, as per latest reports, Manchester United have also thrown their hats in the ring to try and sign the 38-year-old.

Having allowed Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to leave in the summer, Manchester United are quite thinly-stretched in the centre-forward department, with just Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as the senior strikers. The Red Devils’ form suffered when the latter was sidelined for two months with an injury and they are keen to bolster their options in attack in January.

Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic has been touted as a target for Manchester United, but now manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly considering the possibility of swooping in for Ibrahimovic.

The former Red Devils striker, despite being 38 years of age, has been in top form for LA Galaxy over the past year and is in good physical shape as well, which could make him a handy stop-gap option for United till the end of the season. However, it remains to be seen if the 20-time English champions do act on this reported interest or pursue alternate targets.

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