With free agency looming for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Premier league’s top clubs scramble to secure his signature for next season.
Business looks good if your name is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. One of the finest goalscorers of his generation, the Sweden international has become one of the top transfer targets ahead of this summer’s window following the news that there is no sign of any contract extension being tabled by his current club Paris St-Germain, even though his current deal is due to expire in the summer.
It now looks like Ibrahimovic will walk away from PSG on a free transfer and into the dressing room of whatever club is willing to pay him the most. With no transfer fee to worry about, clubs will be in a position to break all kinds of barriers in terms of wages in order to secure the striker’s signature.
Frontrunners for securing the 34-year-old’s services are Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, and with each side suffering below par Premier League campaigns, all are seeking to bounce back next term. Signing a striker of Ibrahimovic’s calibre would certainly be a welcome addition to each of the clubs’ rosters.
According to reports in the Daily Star, Manchester United have taken pole position in the race for the soon-to-be free agent as United chairman Ed Woodward is lining up a two-year contract that will see Ibrahimovic earn a cool £250,000 per week.
A club source has been quoted as saying:
“The team needs a major injection of talent and some superstar additions.
“Zlatan fits the bill. He might be getting on a bit but he can still do it at the highest level and would be worth the risk in terms of big wages because no fee is involved.”
If the reports are correct then this might indicate that United boss Louis van Gaal is indeed headed for the exit door in the summer. Since their time together at Ajax back in 2004, both have a mutual dislike for each other.
This would suggest a deal would be very difficult if Van Gaal were to remain at the club. With constant reports that ex-Chelsea manager José Mourinho is waiting in the wings to take over at United in the summer, Ibrahimovic would likely relish the chance to link up with the Portuguese manager again following a successful spell with Inter Milan in the 2008/09 season.
Whatever might be going on behind closed doors at the top clubs and with the man himself keeping his cards close to his chest, it is becoming apparent that there is a secret bidding war going on and no matter who succeeds in signing the prolific goalscorer, there will really only be one winner, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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