Friday 27 April 2018

‘Dear Los Angeles, you’re welcome’ – Zlatan heading to the States

The veteran striker has not played since Boxing Day.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks set to complete his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy (Martin Rickett/PA Images)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks set to complete his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy (Martin Rickett/PA Images)

By Press Association Sport Staff

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been pictured in a Los Angeles Galaxy shirt.

Manchester United announced on Thursday the 36-year-old Swede had been released from his contract, and Ibrahimovic has been strongly linked with a move to the Major League Soccer franchise.

Although no confirmation has yet come from the team, the front page of Friday’s LA Times sports section shows Ibrahimovic in a Galaxy jersey, above the headline ‘He’s Hard To Ignore’.

The LA Times also featured a full-page advertisement about Ibrahimovic which simply read: “Dear Los Angeles, You’re welcome.”

Ibrahimovic’s signature, above ‘#9’, and the Galaxy logo were at the bottom of the ad.

The Swede has long been a target for Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy – and he now looks set to follow the likes of former England captains David Beckham and Steven Gerrard to the StubHub Center, where he will play alongside ex-Chelsea and Arsenal full-back Ashley Cole.

LA Times journalist Dylan Hernandez believes Ibrahimovic has the character needed to make an impact. “If this doesn’t work, if Zlatan Ibrahimovic fails to take the Galaxy out of the shadows of this city’s sporting landscape, the soccer franchise might as well not sign another big-name foreign
player,” he wrote.

“Because if Ibrahimovic can’t make Los Angeles care about the Galaxy, there isn’t a player who can.”

Ibrahimovic had returned to competitive action for United in November after recovering from surgery to repair his ruptured cruciate ligament.

But his last game was on Boxing Day, when he was substituted at half-time of the 2-2 draw at home to Burnley.

The arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January and the form of Romelu Lukaku have made it more difficult for Ibrahimovic to regain his place and, with question marks over his fitness and his contract ticking down, the time appeared right for a move.

Ibrahimovic left United having scored 29 goals in 53 games.

Following his departure from Old Trafford, Ibrahimovic wrote on Instagram: “Great things also come to an end and it is time to move on after two fantastic seasons with Manchester United.

“Thank you to the club, the fans, the team, the coach, the staff and everybody who shared with me this part of my history.”

Press Association

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