Jose Mourinho has been discussing Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s contract at Manchester United following the Swede’s match-winning performance during his side’s 3-2 win over Southampton in the League Cup final, insisting that supporters should be begging him to stay for another year.
The Swede launched home a sensational free-kick after 19 minutes to send Mourinho’s men into the lead and then came up with a dramatic headed winner during the dying stages.
It remains unclear as to whether Zlatan, currently on a one year contract, will remain at Old Trafford for another year, with some reports suggesting that the 35-year-old would only sign an extension if Man United reach the top four.
And Mourinho, speaking after the win over Claude Puel’s side, expressed his hope that the striker would stay with United for another year.
“I was his manager [at Inter Milan], I know the potential, and only a silly player comes to England at 35 years old, with the successful career that Zlatan has, only a silly player comes here if he doesn’t feel he can do it,” he said.
“Who [is] better to know: him or me or you? To take the challenge to come to a country like England, a club like Man Utd, when he takes that decision he feels he is ready. It’s his credit, not my credit. It’s his merit, everything for him.
“If needed, I think United fans can go to the door of his house, and stay there all night. If needed I think they will go for sure. We all want [a new deal], we all believe he is going to stay with us for one more season.”
I hope that today marks a conclusive end to any form of doubt surrounding Ibrahimovic’s brilliance at United. He has, after all, quite literally snatched a major trophy from Southampton’s grasp and added it to his own booming trophy cabinet. Those that labelled him as ‘past it’ back in the summer, regardless of who they support, should now address him as ‘King’ as a form of repentance.
Whether his conquest of England stretches through to 2018, however, remains an open question, but one has to ask why Zlatan would feel compelled to leave so soon. He is somehow improving with age, and supporters will know that, under Mourinho, the League Cup is just the beginning. Why, I ask, would the Swede walk away from that?