Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to confirm LA Galaxy move 'imminently' as No.9 shirt is set aside for him
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set join LA Galaxy, with the Major League Soccer side eager to force through the deal this month.
Independent.ie have been informed that 36-year-old Ibrahimovic and his agent Mino Raiola have held final talks with Galaxy officials in recent days, with United willing to allow the striker terminate his contract early in order to seal the move to America.
Ibrahimovic made an unexpectedly swift return to action last November after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage playing for United against Anderlecht in the Europa League, but he has struggled to regain top form and has not been part of Jose Mourinho’s plans since a Premier League appearance against Burnley on St Stephen’s Day was cut short by injury.
Now it appears Ibrahimovic may have made his last appearance for United, with his agent confirming that his move to Los Angeles is close to being confirmed.
When asked if Ibrahimovic was moving to Galaxy, Raiola told reporters: "If he wants to. I’m relaxed. He’s in good shape and he has three or four months of time to decide what to do."
Ibrahimovic is on a lucrative contract at United and that may be a stumbling block for Galaxy as they look to sign Ibrahimovic ahead of the start of their new season in March, yet Mourinho has confirmed he will not stand in the striker’s way if he wants to leave early.
"If that is true and Zlatan wants a future in another club in another country then I give to help and create conditions for that to happen to not make his life difficult,” stated the United boss last month.
"But I repeat the only thing Zlatan told - or the last thing Zlatan told me - was that he wants to recover totally and feel ready to help the team. That’s the last thing I heard from him."
The LA Galaxy No.9 shirt is currently vacant and Ibrahimovic is likely to be handed that jersey if he makes the move to America, with former Tottenham attacking star Giovanni Dos Santos, who is currently the club’s highest earning player on an annual salary of $3.75m, excited by the prospect of Zlatan’s arrival.
"I don’t know if it is going to happen but he’s a legend, one of the best strikers in history of soccer," said Dos Santos.
"So if he comes he is very welcome and for sure everyone would be very happy to have him in the team.
"It would be like a dream come true. I’ve been able to play with some of the best strikers in the world. I played with Robbie Keane, so to bring a total player like Zlatan would be huge for our attack."