Manchester United have been urged to continue attempts to re-sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the club battle with Los Angeles Galaxy for his signature. The 35-year-old is in talks over a return to Old Trafford as well as a possible move to Major League Soccer as he ratchets up his recovery from injury.
Ibrahimovic was not expected to play again this year when he suffered a knee injury in the Europa League in April, but has been linked with a short-term deal at Jose Mourinho's side. The Galaxy are also interested in the former Sweden captain and have reportedly submitted an offer of £6m a year to Ibrahimovic.
The former Barcelona and Juventus forward had indicated an announcement regarding his future will be made soon and Ibrahimovic dropped the strongest hint that he is to remain with United after his two sons joined the club's youth academy. Mourinho believes the deal is "possible" and defender Daley Blind wants to see the move completed.
"Of course," Blind said, according to NBC Sports, when asked whether Ibrahimovic would be a worthwhile signing. "No doubt he would again be another big signing and last year he gave a big boost for the team. He is still a great player and great person and he makes everything better."
In his first season with United since joining on a free from Paris Saint-Germain, Ibrahimovic netted 28 goals in all competition as the club won three major trophies and qualified for the Champions League. Despite being released at the end of the campaign due to his season-ending knee injury, Ibrahimovic has been recuperating at the club's Carrington training ground and medical staff are amazed at his progress.
A return to action in either October or at the turn of the year has been suggested, such has been his progress. Five-time MLS Cup winners Galaxy are hopeful of hijacking United's bid, and though coach Curt Onalfo is refusing to confirm his interest he does admit Ibrahimovic is the sort of world-class addition they would be interested in.
"We're the Galaxy and the DNA of our team is to always attract world-class players," Onalfo said, according to Sky Sports. "At the same time we're developing from within but we have to compliment them with world-class players so we're always looking to enhance our team. What I will say is that we know he [Ibrahimovic] is world class."
Should Ibrahimovic indeed return for a second season at United – following the summer additions of Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof – it won't come cheap for the 20-time English league champions. During his only season in the Premier League, according to Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football, he earned a basic wage of £367,640-per-week and was also entitled to a goal bonus worth £2.86m. The full fee paid by Mourinho's side paid totalled £19.11m.