Thursday 23 November 2017

Marcus Rashford could be disheartened when he hears Jose Mourinho's latest comments

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford

Tom Rooney

Perhaps it was just a slip of the tongue, but Jose Mourinho seems to be under the impression that Zlatan Ibrahimović’s stay at Manchester United will surpass his current, and very lucrative, contract.

The Swedish striker arrived at Old Trafford after the European Championships as a free agent, following a gilded stint with PSG.

Engineered by agent Mino Raiola, ‘Ibra’ singed a one-year deal, reported to be worth £240k per week. The move reunited Mourinho and the gregarious striker, who enjoyed a brief spell together at Inter Milan.

Effusive in their praise of each other, they also share a visceral disdain for Man City boss Pep Guardiola.

Ibrahimović has hit the ground running in Manchester, having netted three goals in five appearances, including the winner in the Community Shield against Leicester City and a bravura effort in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth.

United play Southampton at Old Trafford tomorrow night, and Mourinho was asked about the present contentment of the man he's chosen to lead the line for his pivotal inaugural campaign at the helm.

So satisfied is his old pal, the Portuguese is confident that Ibrahimović will almost certainly extend his stay with the club. 

"I ask about his family, his wife, his kids - I know how important these things are to him - integration, house and everything is fine and everybody is happy. He has a very high motivation, so I see him here, no doubts, for the next two years."

Ibrahimović has spoken of his desire to play in the MLS before hanging up his boots and, at 34, it would seem time is running out.

Mourinho’s comments may not be welcomed by United fans hoping he will deploy home grown youngster Marcus Rashford as his first choice centre forward in the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, the former Real boss’ first singing, Eric Bailly, has proven a revelation at the heart of the United defence since his arrival - an athletic, powerful operator who has drawn immediate comparisons with Nemanja Vidic.

Mourinho admitted to be being somewhat taken aback by the swiftness of the Ivorian’s impact.

"He is a young boy playing in a completely different competition with a different club, but despite all the pressure and expectation that comes with playing for United, he plays against Leicester at Wembley and is comfortable, leading and communicative."

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