Football: Ibrahimovic hints at move to Premier League

Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (centre).
Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (centre). PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Zlatan Ibrahimovic has suggested he would be receptive to interest from Premier League clubs if he leaves Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, with the Sweden international expected to pursue a year-long contract before seeing out his career in Major League Soccer with Miami.

The forward, who scored PSG's opening goal in the 2-1 win with a deflected free kick against Chelsea on Tuesday, is out of contract at the end of June and there are no negotiations under way on an extension.

Although the PSG captain, Thiago Silva, went public this week to urge the club's president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, to offer the 34-year-old striker another year at the club, Ibrahimovic has hinted that he will depart for a new challenge after four years of success in Ligue 1.

The Swede is understood to have opted against renewing the lease on his Paris apartment and has purchased a luxury flat in a proposed development in Florida, the construction of which is due to be completed in 2017.

Ibrahimovic made a point of seeking out the English media in the mixed zone at Parc des Princes on Tuesday, with talk quickly turning to his future.

"I have another three months here and, then, what will happen?" he said. "Big things will happen. So let's see."

Asked whether he would favour a first taste of life in the Premier League, he added: "Let's just say I am in good shape."

There remains the possibility PSG will feel compelled to offer him another 12-month deal, with his comments designed to provoke negotiations. Yet the Swede's glittering career, which has included spells at Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale, Barcelona and Milan, could now potentially take in a Premier League club.

Ibrahimovic earns about £200,000 (S$402,484) a week after tax, meaning only a handful of English clubs would be able to afford him. Yet he would still be an attractive proposition at that price for some, given there would be no transfer fee involved.

Mooted for 2018 is a move by Ibrahimovic to the MLS team David Beckham is in the process of setting up in Miami. They were team-mates at PSG and Milan and Ibrahimovic, described in December as a "born winner" by the former England international, would represent a marquee signing to kick-start the project.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2016, with the headline 'Ibrahimovic hints at move to Premier League'. Print Edition | Subscribe