Jose Mourinho has been discussing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s career at Manchester United, noting that winning the Europa League final in his home country would be “beautiful”, whilst noting that he could confirm whether he would remain at Old Trafford ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
The Swede, who has 28 goals to his name so far this season, was left out of Man United’s 2-0 win over Chelsea after being described as ‘jaded’ by Mourinho following his exertions against Sunderland and Anderlecht.
It was confirmed on Tuesday, however, that Zlatan – in spite of Marcus Rashford‘s superb display at N0.9 against the league leaders – would return to the starting XI for the second leg against Anderlecht.
And Mourinho, when asked about whether winning the Europa League in Stockholm would serve as a fitting finale to Zlatan’s time at United, quickly placed more emphasis on the team as a whole.
“I don’t think about it, I just think about Manchester United,” he said.
“I think it would be the perfect finale for us. It would be the perfect end to the season for us, a difficult season with lots of matches. I think for Zlatan it would be fantastic to play the final in his country, it would be perfect, it would be beautiful – no more than that.”
The Portuguese, in response to further probes surrounding Ibrahimovic’s future, responded: “I don’t know, I really don’t know.”
Zlatan’s first contribution in a United shirt came at the Friends Arena in Stockholm – a superb overhead kick, just a few minute into his first pre-season game under Mourinho. A precursor, it turned out, ahead of a spell of continued brilliance at Old Trafford, but where does it end?
Seeing the Swede score the winner in the Europa League final in his home country, following over a decade of ruthless dominance all across Europe, at the same stadium where his United career began, before nobly retiring would, I admit, be a romantic – and indeed providential – end to what has been a sensational career.
But can you really envision Zlatan packing his bags the moment Mourinho’s men secure a place in the Champions League? I’ll let you ponder over that.