Jose Mourinho: Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to leave Manchester United in summer
MANCHESTER, England — Jose Mourinho says he expects Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United this summer.
Ibrahimovic, out of contract at the end of the season, has been linked with a move the U.S. with LA Galaxy and Mourinho admits the 36-year-old will probably leave Old Trafford in May — but insists he does not know whether the former Sweden international will retire or continue playing.
“For Zlatan, we all think it’s his last season at Manchester United and it will be a very personal decision for him to play or to stop,” he told a news conference on Friday.
“I think he has won the right of choosing his life, his future, such an amazing player and amazing career that only that awful injury in the wrong moment broke a fantastic couple of seasons he could and should have with us.”
Ibrahimovic, who scored 28 goals last season, has not featured since Boxing Day after suffering a knee injury just weeks after making his comeback from knee ligament surgery.
He has returned to training but is yet to make his comeback, although Mourinho has not given up hope of seeing the former Barcelona and AC Milan forward, who has been restricted to just seven appearances this season, wear a United shirt again.
“This season has been really difficult for him,” Mourinho added. “He’s not injured. Does he feel totally happy, ready and convinced that he’s in conditions to help the team in this moment? No, but he’s such an honest guy and such a champion he only wants to be back with that feeling of I’m totally ready for it.
“So he’s working hard and hopefully his evolution brings him to that level he wants to have a positive answer.”
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.