Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are all reportedly interested in signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer. The Swedish striker has decided to leave PSG, with his contract expiring at the end of the season.
Although the 34-year-old won’t require a transfer fee, his status will demand a significant financial package to lure him to his next destination. At his age, would Arsenal be willing to pay him the large signing on fee and wage that he would demand?
Are Manchester United and Chelsea enough of a lure with Champions League football uncertain at both clubs next season? Jose Mourinho and a 4th placed finish may convince Zlatan to head to the red side of Manchester.
His agent, Mino Raiola has suggested the player already knows where he will play next season: “We know what we want, but we will not say anything until this summer when the season is over, but we are now clear about what we want to happen. I know what he’s decided, but we don’t want you to know yet.”
Zlatan is unlikely to want to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, with their relationship quite publicly frail. The next club that could afford him and will more than likely have Champions League status is Arsenal. Can Arsene Wenger accommodate a player with such ego into his harmonised dressing room? Will Wenger even be at the club next season? All of these questions will not be answered for a few more weeks yet, but it is worth thinking about because it looks like Zlatan is heading to the Premier League next season.
Manchester United and Arsenal seem the most in need of a striker of Zlatan’s calibre, but Chelsea would probably try and get involved too, although Diego Costa is unlikely to want to sit on the bench.
Since his move to Paris in 2012, Zlatan has scored an incredible 102 goals in 115 games and he’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Reports on his future are changing day by day, with our gossip column last week suggesting Arsenal were favourites, but today’s reports suggest that Chelsea are confident of signing the Swede on a two-year deal.
Arsenal and Chelsea have been the strongest linked with the Swedish international, so how does he compare to the clubs current top strikers, Olivier Giroud and Diego Costa?
Zlatan may be 34 years old, but he is still one of the best strikers in world football and he is showing no signs of slowing down. With 27 goals in 24 apps, he blows Costa (11 from 24) and Giroud (12 from 29) out of the water. Zlatan has also managed 11 league assists, more than Costa and Giroud combined (9). It is fair to say he trumps the Premier League duo in pretty much every attacking aspect. It is also fair to say that the Premier League is a much more complex environment for a striker to succeed than Ligue 1, but you would be pretty confident that someone of Zlatan’s stature could transfer his qualities into almost any environment. One misconception about Ibrahimovic is that he is selfish – he is certainly not. With 11 assists, an average of 79% pass success and 1.5 key passes made per game, he consistently demonstrates selfless and create behaviour, although his off-pitch egotistical statements may lead to different conclusions.
For now, I wouldn’t put any money on Zlatan’s next destination, but it would be bloody brilliant to see him in the Premier League, don’t you think? It would be a shame for the striker to never play in England in his career.
Where will he be playing next season? Join the conversation and tweet us @FreshFootball.