Manchester United could soon bid farewell to Old Trafford cult hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic as speculation linking the veteran striker to Los Angeles Galaxy gathers significant speed.
Ibrahimovic has long been a target for Galaxy, even before he joined United in the summer of 2016, and ESPN claims that 'multiple sources' have informed them that a deal is 'inching closer'.
That would likely see the former Sweden international leave Manchester and head to LA in time for Major League Soccer pre-season. The 2018 MLS campaign will then begin in early March.
What is interesting is that ESPN also notes that Ibrahimovic would not become a 'designated player' for Galaxy, the coveted label that gives MLS clubs permission to pay a limited number of individuals in their squad beyond the usual restrictions of the salary cap.
Instead, Ibrahimovic could be signed with help from 'targeted allocation money', and therefore there is a little bit of confusion as to whether the player's salary will be contributed to or inflated by sponsor payments or other channels of income.
36-year-old Ibrahimovic, who has spoken in the past of his keenness to play in America, scored 28 goals for United last season in a strong debut year. But his campaign was prematurely ended by knee ligament damage in April, prompting a seven-month period of rehab and recovery.
He returned to action on 18th November this season, but has scored just once in seven appearances. The player also then suffered a setback and hasn't played at all since 26th December, although he is believed to now be nearing full fitness once more.
Tellingly, LA Galaxy's number nine shirt, the same jersey Ibrahimovic previously wore at Juventus, Barcelona and during his first season at United, is currently vacant.
He would join the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane in having played for the famous franchise late in their career, while could soon count Ashley Cole, Giovani dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini among his new team-mates.