Wednesday 25 April 2018

Manchester United face battle with AC Milan to re-sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: PA
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: PA

James Ducker

Manchester United could face a challenge from AC Milan in their efforts to tie Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a new contract.

Ibrahimovic was not offered a new deal by United at the end of last season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in April that is likely to rule him out of action until Christmas.

Mourinho has since revealed that he might re-sign the 35-year-old Swede in time for him to play in the second half of the season, but they may now face competition from one of Ibrahimovic's former clubs.

Milan have spent more than £160m this summer as the club's new Chinese owners set about rebuilding the squad and have been linked with a series of strikers, including Torino's Andrea Belotti, Nikola Kalinic of Fiorentina and Diego Costa.

And now it is understood the Italian club are considering a move for Ibrahimovic, who scored 56 goals in 85 games for them during his previous spell at the San Siro between 2010 and 2012, the first season of which was on loan from Barcelona.

United have given Ibrahimovic the use of their Carrington training complex as he continues his rehabilitation and are in discussions to re-sign the player, who has also held talks with LA Galaxy and LA FC, the new MLS start-up franchise, in the United States.

Ibrahimovic shared an update on his recovery yesterday when he uploaded several videos of himself training at the 39 Monte Carlo gym in Monaco under the caption 'no time to rest'.

Speaking before United's European Super Cup defeat by Real Madrid last Tuesday, Mourinho said of Ibrahimovic: "Maybe he'll stay with us. He's not got a contract, but he's still close to Manchester."

Mourinho had made similar noises on United's pre-season tour of the US last month when he said: "We opened our door for him (Ibrahimovic) to recover with us. At the same time let's make a decision that makes us all happy and if that is for him to stay and for us to wait until, let's say December maybe, because I don't think before December he can get back to competitive football.

"But why not wait for a player who gave us so much? We are exchanging ideas and it's with Ed Woodward (United's executive vice-chairman) and Zlatan's agent but the final decision is the best for the player."


Meanwhile, Samir Nasri faces being left in limbo unless Manchester City drop their £10m valuation of the France midfielder.

City have dismissed reports in France that they are willing to waive a fee for Nasri, 30, in a bid to get his £185,000 weekly salary off the club's wage bill.

Nasri has two years left on his contract, which equates to around £19.2m in salary, but City have not received an offer for him.

City manager Pep Guardiola wants Nasri, who spent last season on loan at Sevilla, out of the club.

City are having similar problems offloading France defender Eliaquim Mangala, for whom they want £15m, but Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony is heading closer to a £12m move to Swansea.

The club have raised £70m through sales this summer and hope to surpass £100m by the end of the transfer window. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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