Sunday 19 August 2018

Mourinho signals United exit at end of the season for 'champion' Ibrahimovic


Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: PA
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: PA

James Ducker

Jose Mourinho expects Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United at the end of the season and claimed the veteran Swedish striker has a decision to make over whether he retires or carries on playing.

Ibrahimovic has not played for United since St Stephen's Day after an aborted comeback following a seven month lay-off with a ruptured cruciate ligament.

The 36-year-old has been linked with a move to LA Galaxy and said this week that the prospect of playing in the US was "tempting".

But Mourinho said Ibrahimovic was weighing up whether to carry on or bring down the curtain on a glittering career as his Old Trafford career draws to a close.

"For Zlatan we all think it's his last season at Manchester United and will be a very personal decision for him to play or to stop," Mourinho said. "I think he won the right of choosing his life, his future. He is such an amazing player and had an amazing career that only that awful injury in the wrong moment broke a fantastic couple of seasons he could and should have with us.

"This season has been really difficult for him. Is he injured? No. Does he feel totally happy, ready and convinced that he's in condition to help the team in this moment? No.

"But he's such an honest guy and such a champion he only wants to get back with that feeling of, 'I'm totally ready for it', so he's working hard and hopefully his evolution brings him to that level and brings him the positive answer he wants."

© Daily Telegraph, London

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