Football: Zlatan confirms: Next destination, Man United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be joining Manchester United, ending intense speculation about where the Swedish superstar will be playing next season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be joining Manchester United, ending intense speculation about where the Swedish superstar will be playing next season.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Zlatan Ibrahimovic said yesterday that he is joining Manchester United, ending intense speculation about where the 34-year-old Swedish superstar forward will be playing next season.

"Time to let the world know. My next destination is Manchester United," he wrote on Instagram and Facebook, complete with a picture of the United badge.

Ibrahimovic, who was a free agent after ending a hugely successful stay at Paris Saint-Germain, becomes the second signing of new United boss Jose Mourinho after that of highly rated Ivory Coast centre-back Eric Bailly from the Spanish outfit Villarreal.

Ibrahimovic reunites with Mourinho, after they enjoyed a good relationship while together at Italians Inter Milan.

The Swede had toyed with questioners for weeks about where he would be going and it will be his first time playing in the Premier League.

United will be the eighth club for Ibrahimovic, in a career which began at Malmo in 1999 and has included spells at Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and AC Milan.

Meanwhile, Manchester City are set to sign forward Nolito, after the Spain international arrived at the English Premier League football club yesterday to complete his move from Celta Vigo.

The 29-year-old emerged as a target for City earlier this month, but a deal was put on hold while he was playing at Euro 2016.

With Spain having been knocked out by Italy on Monday, the way was cleared for the player to have a medical check-up, and the move to be signed off.

New City manager Pep Guardiola takes charge officially tomorrow but has already been working to bolster a squad who finished fourth in the Premier League under Manuel Pellegrini last season.

Guardiola knows Nolito well, having worked with him at Barcelona after the winger arrived from Spanish third-tier side Ecija Balompie in 2008.

Nolito spent most of his time at the Nou Camp in the B team, but he was given a first-team debut in 2010 by Guardiola, who saw him as a player with the potential to make it to the top.

Guardiola's first signing for City was midfielder Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund.

On Wednesday, the club also added midfielder Aaron Mooy, one of Australia's brightest talents, to their ranks from sister club Melbourne City.

The 25-year-old Socceroos star, who signed a three-year deal with the Premier League club, will begin the next stage of his career off the back of a record-breaking A-League season in which he set a new benchmark of 21 assists.

He also scored 11 times as Melbourne finished fourth and went on to make the play-off semi-final.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Zlatan confirms: Next destination, Man United'. Print Edition | Subscribe