Insider Notes: LA Galaxy extend a new offer to Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Multiple sources say that the LA Galaxy have recently extended an offer to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one that would bring him to the club this summer and pay him what would easily be the highest salary in MLS history.
Ibrahimovic is 35 years old, but he has been fantastic for Manchester United this season, scoring 26 goals in all competitions. Ibrahimovic’s United contract runs out at the end of this season, so it would be a free transfer, but there’s a possibility he could extend for up to two more seasons with the club.
Watching Manchester United get into a bidding war with LA over Ibrahimovic would be fascinating, and sources say that LA thinks it has a realistic shot of landing him. LA did have discussions with Ibrahimovic last year before he ended up signing with the United, and his manager, Jose Mourinho, is on record recently saying that he sees Ibrahimovic, who scored the winning goals in the Community Shield and League Cup final, remaining at Old Trafford.
In terms of MLS roster logistics, the Galaxy currently have their three allotted Designated Player places occupied by Giovani Dos Santos, Jelle Van Damme and winter signing Romain Alessandrini. LA could buy down the budget charge of one of the three using Targeted Allocation Money, though, which would pave the way to clear a DP place for Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic is about to begin serving a three-game ban in England for elbowing Bournemouth's Tyrone Mings, which will cause him to miss an FA Cup quarterfinal vs. Chelsea and league games against Middlesbrough and West Brom.
Elsewhere in MLS news:
MLS sets high priority on eliminating anti-gay chant at stadiums
We talk a lot about the homophobic goal-kick chant heard at Mexican national team games, but it happens in MLS, too, including at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday.
Atlanta United said it’s working on the issue and that fans found to be participating will be subject to removal from its stadium.
"Atlanta United does not support or condone the use of offensive language,” the expansion club said in a statement following Sunday's 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls. “We strive to foster a positive, enthusiastic and inclusive environment for all fans, and inappropriate chants have no place at our matches. Fans found to be participating in this behavior will be subject to removal from the building."
A league source said this is a high-priority issue, and the league is updating its fan code of conduct and working to eradicate the chant. (The league hopes it will end up disappearing, much like the previously heard YSA goal kick chant has from MLS stadiums.) I'm told that five MLS teams whose fans have used the P-word chant the most are Atlanta, LA, Houston, Colorado and NYCFC.