The Swede, who arrived at the club in July, stated the presence of Mourinho – with whom he developed a fantastic relationship during his time with Inter Milan – was a fundamental factor in his decision to join Man United.
Ibrahimovic has made an unsurprisingly explosive start to life under Mourinho, netting four goals ahead of the long-awaited Manchester derby.
Speaking prior to the contest with Pep Guardiola’s side, Zlatan was full of praise for Mourinho.
“I knew this coach from before. I know what he wants and what he demands,” he said.
“He is a winner and so am I. I will do everything to win and he thinks the same.
“He won, I won, we won when we were young and we will win when we are a little bit older.
“He [Mourinho] is direct with everyone. He is not a coach that goes behind you and tells you behind your back. He will tell you if you are not good enough that you are not good enough.
“And I prefer that it is like that, instead of having someone who doesn’t say anything to you. Your situation is so-and-so but you think it is good because you don’t hear anything.”
Zlatan’s sly dig at Guardiola only further fans the flames surrounding the upcoming Manchester derby, and further reinforces exactly why he works so well alongside the Special One.
The Swede has not disguised his feelings surrounding Guardiola in recent years, claiming that the Spaniard, unable to cope with big personalities, would often ignore the striker and express concerns about him in secret. Such duplicity and disrespect is not something you can get away with, especially when aimed at Ibrahimovic.
And yet, the dysfunction between the 34-year-old and Guardiola explains, in turn, his fantastic relationship with Mourinho. The two are similar in many ways: they are confident, direct in their treatment of players and style of attack, and will give absolutely everything to win.
No beating around the bush, no excuses: just raw aggression and passion in the pursuit of victory, something United fans could certainly get used to.