LA Galaxy have confirm the re-signing of veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the upcoming 2019 season, following rumours of a potential return to AC Milan.
The 37-year-old recorded one of the most successful seasons in MLS history in 2018, with 22 goals and 10 assists in just 27 appearances for the Los Angeles-based side. That total made him just the third player to ever record at least 20 goals and 10 assists in a single season, with the combined total of 32 the sixth highest in history.
And, after a smattering of speculation that the Swede, who has represented Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Milan, Barcelona, Inter and Juventus among others in a vaunted career, would return to Europe, the Galaxy have confirmed he will be doing no such thing.
In an official statement, a day after the striker posted a video on twitter with the caption 'MLZ I'm not done with you yet', the club confirmed: "The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has signed forward Zlatan Ibrahimović to a new contract that will see the Swedish striker return to LA for the 2019 MLS season as a Designated Player."
The moniker of 'Designated Player' was key to these negotations, with MLS clubs permitted just three spots for such figures. Last season, Galaxy had Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini in these spots, with Zlatan on a far lesser contract of $1.5m a year.
This is now set to change, with one of those three now forced to vacate that spot by leaving the club or reverting to a smaller contract.
Speaking on the deal, newly appointed General Manager Dennis te Kloese admitted: “We are very pleased to sign Zlatan to a new contract that will see him return for the 2019 season.
“He showed his value last season and we look forward to him representing our club next year. With Zlatan returning, we will continue to improve our team in advance of the season.”