Ibra's exit confirmed but he's set to stay in Europe

Manchester United's Swedish striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Manchester United's Swedish striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Manchester United will not offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic a new deal when his current contract expires at the end of the month.

The 35-year-old striker had an option for a second season at United - following his influential first campaign in English football - but a cruciate ligament injury has ended his career at Old Trafford.

The Swede was the club's top scorer last season, scoring 28 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions for United.

He will be 36 by the time he next plays, with the knee injury expected to keep the striker out until early next year.

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He scored at Wembley in both United's Community Shield and League Cup successes, as well as playing an important role in their Europa League triumph.

That competition was his final appearance for United, after he suffered the ligament damage in April's quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht.

His agent, Mino Raiola, says Ibrahimovic is not short of offers.

"Many clubs have asked for Zlatan," he said. "He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent."

Ibrahimovic's release means a new No. 9 is high on United's list of priorities this summer and a £60 million (S$108 million) offer for Alvaro Morata is expected to be submitted.

Manager Jose Mourinho has identified the 24-year-old as his primary attacking target after the France international Antoine Griezmann confirmed he will not be leaving Atletico Madrid.

Negotiations with Real Madrid have taken place this week, with United's first offer of £52 million turned down as the Champions League winners value him significantly higher at £78 million.

Ibrahimovic's departure was confirmed yesterday, after the Premier League released its retained list with his name missing.

Despite finishing sixth in the Premier League, United will play in the Champions League next season after beating Ajax in the Europa League final.

Former England defender John Terry will be another big-name free agent this summer following his departure from Premier League champions Chelsea.

Manchester City are also set to release the quartet of goalkeeper Willy Caballero, winger Jesus Navas and full-backs Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2017, with the headline 'Ibra's exit confirmed but he's set to stay in Europe'. Print Edition | Subscribe