Saturday, 2 July 2016

United complete Ibrahimovic signing

United have completed the signing of out-of-contract striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a one-year deal.

The 34-year-old, capped 116 times by Sweden, has retired from international football and left French champions PSG at the end of last season having been strongly linked with the Reds since.

Zlatan removed the final barrier to his first season in England when he said he did not wish to be considered for Olympic duty in Rio following Sweden's early Euro 2016 exit.

Ibrahimovic is Jose Mourinho's second signing as United manager following the £30 million capture of Villarreal's Ivorian defender Eric Bailly.

The former Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan player is one of the most feared and prolific strikers in the game, having scored 392 goals in  677 matches, winning a trophy in every season of his career since 2001 including 13 league titles.

Four of those came in a stellar spell at the French club in which he won the domestic quadruple twice and, last term, he enjoyed the most dominant season of his career as he netted a record-breaking 50 goals in 51 appearances.

"I am absolutely delighted to be joining a fantastic club in Manchester United and am looking forward to playing in the Premier League for the first time in my career" he said. 

Ibrahimovic has an ego and an enigma to match his supreme footballing talents and is renowned as a box office maverick with a reputation for speaking his mind.

United's history is littered with temperamental big name players: George Best, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo to name but three but questions may be asked of the 34 year old's ability to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League. 

Neverthless, his arrival is sure to bring excitement and unpredictability to an Old Trafford fanbase starved of both over the last few seasons, and his long running feud with new City boss Pepe Guardiola can only endear him further.

Ibrahimovic worked together with Mourinho during their time at Inter and after the two men confirmed they will link up again, the Portuguese said:

"Zlatan needs no introduction, he is one of the best strikers in the world who has won trophies wherever he has been and I know he will grasp this opportunity to help me and the team win titles.

"I am certain that his talent and personality will delight the fans at Old Trafford next season and that his experience will be invaluable in helping to develop the fantastic young players we have in our squad."

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