West Ham United have become the first Premier League club to confirm their interest in signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who appears destined to leave Paris Saint Germain at the end of the season. The Sweden international has made no secret of his desire to move to English shores and admits he is considering offers, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United among the clubs reportedly tracking the player.
The Mirror understand that the Gunners, the Blues and United are all in the race to sign the 34-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer. Ibrahimovic's wage are in excess of £250,000-a-week and the trio are among the only clubs in the English top flight able to match such demands.
Speculation has swelled regarding Ibrahimovic's potential move to United amid rumours the club are set to replace Louis van Gaal with Jose Mourinho – who managed the forward while at Inter Milan. However, after Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger distanced himself from links with Ibrahimovic, West Ham have become the first club to formally reveal their interest.
"We have a list of about 10 strikers all over Europe, and most of our money will go into signing a striker," Hammers co-owner David Sullivan told TalkSport. "That is the plan for next season. I'd love Ibrahimovic from PSG, but whether he'd come to us I don't know. I know he's 34 but he's a fantastic player.
"There are a number of top Premier League players we may be bidding for, top goalscorers, but I can't name them. I can't comment on players from other teams. The squad we have at West Ham now is the best we've had in six years, by a long, long way. We will be adding to that squad in the summer and hopefully we'll be a bit better next year."
Arsenal supporters are clamouring for a restructuring of their forward line amid another season which is destined to end without a genuine challenge for the Premier League title. Lead striker Olivier Giroud has scored 20 goals in all competitions for his club this season but had been found wanting during the pressure situations during the campaign.
United are also likely to make changes to their squad this summer, regardless of whether they keep faith with Van Gaal – who has just over a year remaining on his current contract. But as Ibrahimovic's future remains a mystery, Swedish journalist Olof Lundh expects him to move to an unidentified club in London – which would naturally end any hopes United had to securing a deal.
"It is pretty likely [he will move to the Premier League]," he told Sky Sports. "In the beginning he preferred to go to the US with Miami but since David Beckham has had some problems getting the stadium ready and it's not ready until 2018. I think he is looking to play in Europe at the top level and, of course, the Premier League is interesting for him. I think he would like to live in London. Whether that would be Chelsea, Arsenal or maybe even West Ham, we will see."