The Swede plundered 27 goals during his opening campaign at Old Trafford, only to see his season cut short with a knee ligament injury in April.
He came back in November and made two starts, scoring a free-kick against Bristol City, but has since been consigned to the treatment table, with Mourinho noting at a press conference on Friday that the striker still doesn’t feel quite right.
And Zlatan, when asked about rumours linking him with a move to the MLS, noted that any talk was merely rumours but did admit to being tempted by a move to the United States.
“I did not know that several Swedes went to MLS,” he said.
“That means it’s tempting to play in the United States. Los Angeles is a nice city and I’ve been there a lot on vacation. It is laid back. I think it’s rumours all the time [about my future]. When I play and when I do not play it is rumours. That’s good, that means I live.”
Mourinho declared after Man United’s final game of 2017, a miserable 0-0 draw with Southampton, that Zlatan would be missing for a month.
But over double that time has slipped by without many supporters stopping to wonder just what is happening with their top goalscorer from last season. Until now.
It turns out that Zlatan has not been injured per se, but rather quietly battling with his own body over the last couple of months, doing all he can to bring himself back to the level of awareness and strength we saw last season.
And with just two months left until the 2017/18 season concludes, there appears to be a consensus emerging: that Zlatan, for all his remarkable physical qualities, is finally starting to wane after 17 years at the highest level. A move to the luscious, more relaxed Californian plains, where his arrival would be treated like a religious ceremony by commercial outlets, certainly makes sense.