Saturday 21 October 2017

Ibrahimovic career in the balance after knee injury

 

An injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United is given assistance during the UEFA Europa League quarter final second leg match between Manchester United and RSC Anderlecht. Photo: Getty
An injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United is given assistance during the UEFA Europa League quarter final second leg match between Manchester United and RSC Anderlecht. Photo: Getty

James Ducker

Manchester United and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been dealt a severe blow amid fears that the Swedish striker has ruptured the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and could be out for up to nine months.

The news represents a huge setback to United's Europa League and top-four hopes this season and plunges Ibrahimovic's future at Old Trafford into serious doubt.

Ibrahimovic landed awkwardly on his right leg as he challenged for a header during stoppage time of Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second leg win against Anderlecht, locking his knee.

United's leading scorer with 28 goals this season, Ibrahimovic underwent assessment with the club's medical staff yesterday and is braced for a long lay-off that, at 35, could even jeopardise his career.

United - who were paired with Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-final draw yesterday - have been in talks with Ibrahimovic about extending his £290,000-a-week contract for another 12 months but the striker's injury could change the picture.

If Ibrahimovic is ruled out until Christmas, United may have reservations about keeping the former Barcelona and Paris St-Germain forward beyond the end of this season when his deal expires, unless they have already made a commitment to do so.

United were confident Ibrahimovic would stay but he had issued a series of noncommittal answers when asked about his future in recent weeks and has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer.

Defender Marcos Rojo also suffered a knee injury on Thursday, and with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling already out, Eric Bailly is the only centre-back available for tomorrow's trip to Burnley. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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