Jose Mourinho has confirmed that talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic over a new contract at Manchester United once he returns from injury are underway.
The Swede was officially released from the books at Man United in June after suffering an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury in April against Anderlecht.
Gianluca di Marzio and the Guardian both reported earlier this week that the Swede had decided to remain at Old Trafford next season despite attracting interest from AC Milan and LA Galaxy.
And Mourinho, speaking at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s clash with West Ham United, confirmed that the 35-year-old will be a Man United player once he returns from injury in January.
“You know he’s injured, he needs time to recover, he’s not ready to play tomorrow,” he said.
“It’s not something urgent, that we are desperate to have it done or not done, I just think that he was very clear by showing what he did last year was not enough for him.
“He thinks he can do more and wants more at the highest level so we are having conversatins and we are discussing the possibility of him to stay with us for the second part of the season.”
We have to entertain the possibility that, for one reason or another, United once again struggle in front of goal this season. Perhaps Romelu Lukaku will pick up an injury or endure a dry patch; perhaps the same agony at home to lesser sides will repeat itself, only in more severe terms this time around.
That said, we also must now consider the prospect of Zlatan, with United, say, fifth in January, ten points off leaders Stoke City (we have seen with our own eyes that something like this is possible), returning and injecting life into United’s dwindling campaign.
Mourinho has a valuable ace up his sleeve for next season. No other clubs can boast the same kind of get-out-of-jail card (big January signings rarely happen and, if they do, hardly ever work immediately) and it could prove crucial for United’s entire campaign.