Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to sign a second contract with Manchester United once he returns to full fitness in October, according to The Sun.
The 35-year-old Swedish striker has been out since April with a knee injury but should be back fit by October ahead of schedule following surgery. United will offer the prolific centre-forward a new short-term deal despite officially releasing him back in June.
United originally had the option of exercising a second year on the deal Ibrahimovic signed when he joined the Old Trafford club in 2016. However, the Red Devils initially opted against guaranteeing the Swede a second season.
Things have changed since, according to reports from The Sun, with United impressed by the veteran’s speedy recovery from knee surgery: “SunSport understands the United medical staff are amazed by the Swede’s recovery this summer, with boss Jose Mourinho expected to offer last season’s top scorer a short-term deal until the end of the campaign.”
Ibrahimovic has stayed close to United since his release, as he bids to regain full fitness, per the report. It’s a move that not only has helped Ibrahimovic step up his recovery, he’s also stayed in the club’s thinking ahead of next season.
Significantly, the report also says playing a second campaign in the red half of Manchester would be Ibrahimovic’s preferred choice for next season: “Offers from Major League Soccer, China and the Premier League have come in, but Ibrahimovic’s first choice will be to continue his career in the North West.”
It makes sense for United to want to keep Ibrahimovic after the former Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Juventus star defied Father Time last season. He scored 28 times in all competitions, per WhoScored.com, helping United win the EFL Cup in the process.
The Red Devils have already done a deal for a replacement, signing striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton for £75 million. It was also reported that theBelgium international Lukaku has even asked Ibrahimovic for the No. 9 shirt next season.
Letting Lukaku lead the line while also signing Ibrahimovic for a second time would give United a formidable forward line in manager Jose Mourinho’s second season. It would be similar to when Mourinho brought veteran Didier Drogba back to Chelsea to back up Diego Costa for the 2014/15 campaign.
If Ibrahimovic eventually signs a second year contract with the club, the Theatre of Dreams may be a place to reckon with next season as per the Premier League Title.