Zlatan Ibrahimovic Explains Why He Chose to Rejoin Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told ESPN that he chose to rejoin Manchester United because of how much he enjoyed his first season with the Old Trafford club in 2016/17, with his family also happy during the months they spent living in the north west of England.
Ibrahimovic has put pen to paper on a new one-year deal with United and is now targeting a comeback after suffering a potentially career threatening knee injury in late April.
There was rumoured interest from the likes of LA Galaxy and LAFC in Major League Soccer, as well as former club Milan, Napoli and even Atletico Madrid, but the 35-year-old wanted to 'finish' what he started at United.
"There were a couple of clubs reaching out and wanted to have 'Ibracadabra' in their team, but I had such a great year with United," Ibrahimovic explained.
"We had a great season, we won three trophies (Community Shield, EFL Cup, Europa League), fantastic guys, a great club, a coach that I knew from before and my family was happy."
It was more than just about what he felt he could achieve on the pitch, though, citing other factors as being equally important in influencing his decision.
"It's not always about the sporting thing when you sign for a club. I'm in a situation where I have to think 360 degrees around me. Everybody's happy with this and I am supper happy, so happiness has no value, so this year I would play for free just like last year," he added, smiling.
Ibrahimovic will wear the number 10 shirt for United when he makes his return to action, as opposed to the number 9 he wore last season. That is because his old jersey was bequeathed to £75m summer signing Romelu Lukaku, a player Zlatan is happy to have on board.
"I'm happy [Lukaku] came and I think the team is much stronger this season than last season. Obviously we lost (Wayne) Rooney as a legend for the club, but we've got three new players and they have made the team stronger," he commented.
Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof have joined Lukaku in making the switch to United over the summer, with Ibrahimovic firmly believing the team is fast learning how to win again.
"From [my] first year the team has been winning some trophies and learning the sacrifices you have to make to win the trophies and the mental part - that is what I think the coach has brought to the team," the ex-Barcelona and PSG forward said.
"Signing Lukaku makes us even stronger because he has different qualities from me as a striker, and from (Marcus) Rashford as a striker. He's a powerful guy and will bring extra quality to our game."