'Nothing done' for Ibrahimovic's extension

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic attempting to poke the ball away from Watford's Heurelho Gomes. The Swede, who is joint-third in the league's scoring standings with 15 goals, did not get on the scoresheet as United won 2-0.
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic attempting to poke the ball away from Watford's Heurelho Gomes. The Swede, who is joint-third in the league's scoring standings with 15 goals, did not get on the scoresheet as United won 2-0.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he is no closer to resolving his Manchester United future, despite claiming he has already done enough to trigger a contract extension.

The 35-year-old moved to Old Trafford in the summer on a one-year deal with the option of another season, although the make-up of that extension clause is shrouded in mystery.

On Friday, United's manager, Jose Mourinho, said he was convinced the Swede would still be at the club next season but the 20-goal striker said there is "nothing done yet".

Asked if he had enabled the extension through his goals, Ibrahimovic said: "Something like that. I have to score 100 goals! The option is already fulfilled. But there's nothing done yet. From my side. We'll wait and see."

French forward Anthony Martial appears to be one of those benefiting from Ibrahimovic's experience.

After enduring a difficult season previously, the 21-year-old marked his return to the starting line-up with a goal and an assist as Watford were beaten 2-0 on Saturday.

"He's not going around with his head down," Ibrahimovic said of his younger team-mate.

"He's positive, training hard and has a lot of energy. Obviously he wants to play.

"It's not like we go around to everybody and talk. It's about the moment, when the situation is there.

"When we eat breakfast he sits beside me and we talk. Everybody talks to everybody.

"It's not like you go to one and try to cheer him up. It's a good atmosphere, the guys are very professional. Positive vibes."

Despite sitting sixth in the league, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea after 25 games, Ibrahimovic believes United are well-placed to pick up silverware in other competitions.

United face Southampton in the League Cup final on Feb 26 and are still involved in the Europa League and the FA Cup.

"We have one (the Community Shield) and we can get our second one (the League Cup)," the Swede added.

"We are still in the Europa League and FA Cup, so if we don't become champions in the Premier League, at least we can try and win two or three trophies."

United host French side St Etienne in the first leg of their round-of-32 Europa League clash on Thursday.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline ''Nothing done' for Ibrahimovic's extension'. Print Edition | Subscribe