The next step in the career of one of the most notorious football players of our time – Zlatan Ibrahimović has been a hot topic of discussion in the football world after he announced he will leave the United States in a bid to look for new challenges.
While he has not specified which club he will join in the next transfer window, there have been many speculations about his next stop. While he is turning 39 in 2020, Ibrahimović is still a highly-sought-after striker, who has proven his worth time and time again and it’s easy to see why many clubs are interested in signing him. He has won trophies in five different countries and has left an impact on any club he has played for. Here we will look over six clubs, the Swedish football player has been linked with in the past few weeks.
Zlatan Ibrahimović – The Next Club?
During his stay in the EPL, Ibrahimović impressed with the Red Devils, where he scored 28 goals across all competitions and it’s safe to say other clubs noticed his impressive performance.
While his move to Everton looked unlikely, we have to consider Everton appointed Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager, who is a former boss of Ibrahimović and could play a huge role in the Swede’s decision on where he will continue his career.
When asked about Ibrahimović’s possible arrival at Everton, Ancelotti stated;
“He is a good friend of mine. I have trained a lot of fantastic players. I know he finishes his period in the United States, I don’t know what his idea is. I have to call him, maybe I call him. If he wants to come to Liverpool to enjoy he can come – but not to play!”
2. A.C Milan?
Zlatan Ibrahimović’s return to Milan has been talked about for years and the speculations intensified since he announced he will be leaving LA Galaxy. Ibrahimović previously played for AC Milan between 2010-2012, before he left for PSG and during his time, he left a very good impression playing in Serie A.
Known for having very good relations with their players, Milan are reportedly very keen on seeing the Swede return and it seems like Ibrahimović himself would not mind returning to the Rossoneri. He also hinted he could return, with his interview with GQ Italia.
“I will join a club that must get back to winning, that has to renew its history and is in search of a battle against everyone and everything,” said Ibrahimović. Seeing how AC Milan have fallen from grace and are unable to recapture their glory days, his statement is a strong hint he could return to help AC Milan on their path to glory.
“That is the only way I’ll be able to find the necessary motivation to surprise you again. It’s not just about choosing a team, as there are other factors that need to line up, including in the interests of my family,” he added, and closed out the interview by stating: “I’ll see you in Italy soon.”
Suffice to say it was a strong indication he could return and we can expect Milan to accept him with open arms. While he is approaching 40, Ibra has shown he still “has it” and we can imagine he could play a crucial role in AC Milan’s climb to the top of European football. Milan’s head coach Stefano Poli had the following to say:
“I’ve already said he is a champion and would bring that determination and character to raise the intensity and focus even during training, more so than in games.”
3. Manchester United?
During his stay with the Red Devils, Ibrahimović had many issues with injuries but still managed to impress, by scoring 28 goals for his team. His decision to leave for the USA came as a shock to many as many believe he still has plenty to offer at the highest level of football.
His return seems unlikely, but Ibra before stated he would not mind coming back to Old Trafford if the club needs him. He has stated he will join a club which is struggling to recapture their glory days and while AC Milan are one of the biggest examples of such club, Manchester United are not excluded from the category of clubs who have been severely underperforming recently.
When asked about Ibra, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer jokingly said “If he was 28, not 38 it would be a big difference,” to which he added:
“But Zlatan has had a great time here and, of course, he is still doing well and was unfortunate he got his injury here when he did. So, who knows? He knows my number. He never rented my house but he was looking at it, and we can speak our native language. If he’s serious I’ll always speak to Zlatan.”
4. Atletico Madrid?
The rumours of Ibra joining Atletico Madrid surfaced after he hinted on his Twitter account he could be returning to Spain. While there are plenty of options for him to pick from in Spain, there are in reality only three clubs he would most likely consider joining – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who are top three clubs in Spain.
That being said, we can’t expect Real Madrid to sign him, simply because of his age. The club is building for the future and already has a very solid attack, so he would not be needed there. The same can be said for Barcelona and considering the way he left the Blaugrana, we can’t expect the fans nor the club would want him back.
Seeing him join Atleti is an option, but there are some questions whether he would fit in with Simeone’s plans. And even if Simeone wishes to sign him, Ibra would have tough competition for a starting spot, with Alvaro Morata, Diego Costa and Joao Felix already in the team.
Fiorentina are by no means one of the clubs people would expect Ibrahimović to join, but after his statement, which hinted he will return to Italy, some rumours surfaced he could join La Viola.
Fiorentina are without a doubt a club that needs a boost, seeing how they are struggling to perform in Serie A and it would give Ibra a great challenge, which is exactly what he is looking for. The team has a vast array of young talented players and with the arrival of Ribery, they seem like a club that could push for better result. The only thing La Viola need now is a small boost and Ibra would fit in perfectly.
That being said, Fiorentina are still regarded as a less likely destination for Ibra as compared to AC Milan, where reportedly Ibrahimović likes to play.
6. Borussia Dortmund?
The last club, which was linked with Ibrahimović was Borussia Dortmund. Ibrahimović has never before played in Bundesliga, meaning that joining Borussia would give Ibra a chance to dip his toe in the German football for the first time in his career, thus adding another milestone before he ultimately retires.
“It would be a special chance to show himself in an entirely new league,” stated Ibrahimovic’s compatriot Martin Dahlin, thus adding some oil to the fire of rumours.
“I played in the Bundesliga for a long time and it’s still one of the strongest leagues in the world. Ibra would certainly fit in with BVB’s style of play and would attract fans.”
Looking at the team, which boasts with Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard, there is no question Ibrahimović’s style of play would most likely result in him producing some solid numbers, but while he might seem like a perfect fit for Borussia, there seem to be plenty of better options for Ibrahimović to choose from. That being said, playing in Bundesliga would prove to be a challenge for Ibrahimović and we already stated he is looking for new challenges.