Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in the "last part" of his playing career.
The 36-year-old made a sooner than expected return from a serious knee injury earlier this season, but has not yet made an impact and has been hindered by further fitness problems.
Mourinho, while maintaining the veteran forward still has plenty to offer, has stressed that he is fully aware of his diminishing powers.
"I was his manager when he was 29 at Inter Milan. We can’t stop time, and for players time means a lot," said the Portuguese coach - quoted by FourFourTwo.
"Zlatan knows that. He knows that at the highest level he's in the last part of his career, but his dream, his desire, his fight was always to end at Manchester United his career at the highest level.
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"And, using the words he repeats all the time, being useful for me, for the team, and that I think he can. He just needs to feel really happy with his knee, with his condition and that I think he can.
"As a leader in the dressing room, as a leader on the pitch, as a quality player on the pitch, I think he can do that, he deserves that and I'm here to try to help him do that."
United host Stoke at Old Trafford on Monday night, looking to close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City after their 4-3 loss against Liverpool.