Friday 9 June 2017

Zlatan set to leave after United fail to offer new contract

United are set to release Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the club chose not to offer him a new deal.

The Swedish striker signed on a one year contract, with the option of a second, when he joined  the Reds having been released by PSG in the summer.
The addition of one of Europe's most prolific and reputable strikers came without the lure of Champions League football and represented a real coup for Jose and the club. 

Zlatan came to England with doubts about his suitability for the fast and physical nature of the Premier League but instead proved the greatest free transfer the league has seen.
He brought with him the charismatic swagger of the superstar target man we've not had since Eric Cantona, and leaves us with many cherished memories. 

He ended his first and only season at Old Trafford with 28 goals - including the winner in the Community Shield, a brace in the EFL Cup final and hat-trick against Saint Etienne - to top United's goalscoring charts. 

The extension in the deal had not been triggered when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Europa League against Anderlecht in April which meant he missed the final ten matches of the campaign. 

Although the decision to allow him to leave may seem a strange one to outsiders, it makes perfect sense for the club.

There is no timeframe on his recovery but other players younger than him have suffered the same injury and been out for up to a year.
Zlatan will be 36 in October and to keep him on the payroll when he won't return until mid 2018 - and even then there are no guarantees on his fitness - is a risk not worth taking. 

Zlatan has been offered the use of United's Carrington training ground to complete his rehabilitation after his cruciate knee ligament surgery. 

His contract officially runs on 30 June and, although there has been no mention of a new one, the fact that he will remain in Manchester, could suggest that it remains a possibility. 
The extent of his recovery and our form in the opening months of next season could prove the decisive factor - but it still seems very likely that he will leave.

United have pulled out of a deal for Atletico's Antoine Griezmann, but are now believed to be in talks with city rivals Real over a possible move for out of favour forward Alvaro Morata. 

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