Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that it is “possible” for striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to stay at Old Trafford.
The former Swedish international joined the Red Devils from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer last summer. He suffered a serious knee injury in the Europa League clash against Anderlecht in April, for which he had to go under the knife.
Ibrahimovic is set to miss most of the remaining months of this calendar year and United released him after his contract expired in the summer. It was earlier reported that Ibrahimovic would likely return to the pitch in 2018. However, the Sun claims United’s medical staff are amazed by his recovery and the striker could make an early return from injury in October.
Mourinho says United “want” Ibrahimovic, but it is down to the player to make a decision on his future.
“It’s possible, it’s open. Of course,”Mourinho said, as quoted by the Mirror, when asked if United could re-sign Ibrahimovic.
“We want him to be honest and open and let everything be there for him to make a decision in case his desire was to leave, so there was not a new contract.
“There was a space and time for everyone to think, to feel, to decide and, from his point of view, he made the decision to still want to play football at the highest level.
“It would be easy for him to hide behind such an amazing injury and say it’s time to play at a different level. But he made the challenge for him to continue at the highest level. We opened our door for him to recover with us and then to make a decision.”
Ibrahimovic has also teased United fans after confirming that a “very big announcement” is imminent regarding his future. During his one-year spell at Old Trafford, the 35-year-old earned a basic wage of £367,640 per week ($481,314 per week) and was entitled to a goal bonus worth £2.86m ($3.74m), taking his total fee paid by the Red Devils to £19.11m ($25.02m).
The attacker was the star player in Mourinho’s debut season at United, scoring 28 goals across all competitions, which included the winner in the Community Shield and a brace in the 3-2 win over Southampton in the EFL Cup final.