Sunday 25 September 2016

Manchester United could miss out on Zlatan Ibrahimovic if they keep Louis van Gaal

Matt Law

Published 07/04/2016 | 14:14

Paris St Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris St Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Manchester United could ruin their hopes of landing Zlatan Ibrahimovic by keeping Louis van Gaal as manager for next season and passing up the chance to appoint Jose Mourinho.

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Ibrahimovic is yet to agree a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain and would consider a switch to Old Trafford this summer if Mourinho is in charge as the pair are close.

But the same cannot be said of 34-year-old Ibrahimovic and Van Gaal, as the Swede still harbours a grudge for their fall-out at Ajax - even though it was over 10 years ago.

Ibrahimovic, who scored and missed a penalty against Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday night, played at Ajax while Van Gaal was sporting director and the Dutchman resigned soon after selling the striker to Juventus in 2004.

In his book, I Am Zlatan, Ibrahimovic described Van Gaal as “a pompous ass” and last year added: “The way he is working is not the way I work.”

With United one of the clubs now interested in signing Ibrahimovic if he does not sign a new deal at PSG, a friend of the player has claimed he would “not walk through the door” if Van Gaal stays at Old Trafford.

Ibrahimovic, on the other hand, has made no secret of the fact he would jump at the chance of working with Mourinho again following a short spell under the former Chelsea manager at Inter Milan.

Although Ibrahimovic moved to Barcelona while Mourinho was in charge at Inter, the pair still hold an extremely high opinion of each other and communicate regularly over text message.

On the future of his client, the agent of Ibrahimovic, Mino Raiola, this week said: “Zlatan’s sole priority at this moment is to end the season well.

“Zlatan knows what he wants to do. He wants to play in the final of the Champions League, and if possible to win it.

“Zlatan is motivated and all clubs who offer him a contract know that. He doesn’t need to continue for financial reasons, he wants to prove himself at the highest level, just as he has the other years when people thought he was too old.

“I’m not saying the financial aspect is not important at all, but his motivation is not money. If you are the best, you must be paid as the best.”

Telegraph.co.uk

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