Of all of the factors motivating Zlatan Ibrahimović’s impending move to Manchester United, the chance to get one over on new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola certainly appears to be a strong draw.
The pair briefly worked together at Barcelona, but their falling-out was as public as it was explosive, and the player joined AC Milan after just one season in La Liga.
In a fantastic twist to the feud, the pair are set to share a city next season, on opposite sides of the red/blue divide. To add further drama, Zlatan will be united with José Mourinho, another fierce rival of Guardiola’s.
In an interview with Spanish publication Marca today, the Swedish international’s agent, Mino Raiola, revealed that getting revenge on his former Camp Nou boss was certainly an appealing prospect, but stopped short of stating that it was the only thing driving the 35-year-old or his near-certain move to Old Trafford:
“I think he wants revenge on Guardiola, although he does not live for it because you shouldn’t have two graves – one for him and one for the enemy,
“You learn more from defeats than you do from victories, and Zlatan learned a lot from what happened with Guardiola.”
Despite their personal differences (Zlatan calling Pep a “spineless coward” was a particular highlight), the player has publicly expressed his respect for the two-time Champions League winner as a coach.
That, however, is not a viewpoint shared by Raiola, out loud at least:
“As a person, I don’t like him either,
“Zlatan admits he is a great coach and I can think it but refuse to admit it.”
Ibrahimović is widely expected to join Manchester United as soon as his involvement with Sweden at Euro 2016 has come to an end, and while both he and Raiola have been remaining coy about that particular deal, at this stage it would be more of a surprise if the deal didn’t happen.
Nonetheless, the “super agent” stuck to the script by revealing precisely no new information about his client’s future:
“It seems destiny wants to see that meeting take place. One option is to go to the Premier League but for as long as Sweden continue in the Euros there will be no solution.”