Could Zlatan Ibrahimovic soon grace Major League Soccer?
The Swedish striker has received a lucrative contract offer to join the Los Angeles Galaxy, Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported Wednesday, citing multiple sources. Ibrahimovic currently plays for Manchester United but he could leave England for MLS as a free agent this summer when his contract expires. He could join the club when the MLS transfer window opens on July 15.
The Galaxy are willing to pay Ibrahimovic the highest salary in MLS history, according to Wahl. Kaka holds the record as MLS’ highest-paid player with a guaranteed annual salary of $7.2 million. Ibrahimovic is the Premier League’s top earner on a contract that pays him a reported £260,000 per week (or $16.5 million per year).
Ibrahimovic has been linked with an MLS move in the past. He reportedly secured a U.S. non-tourist visa in 2015, and French Magazine L’Equipe reported later that year David Beckham wants the goal machine on his MLS expansion team in Miami.
Manchester United wants to keep Ibrahimovic for at least one more season, and his contract contains a club option to extend his deal for another 12 months.
But the Mail’s Sami Mokbel reported last week Ibrahimovic wants a new, two-year contract with Manchester United. If Manchester United fails to meet his demands, Ibrahimovic could tell the club he’d rather leave this summer than stay for another season. That would create a standoff, which would require MLS or another interested club to pay a transfer fee for Ibrahimovic.
The 35-year-old remains one of world soccer’s genuine superstars, despite his advanced age. In his first season with Manchester United, Ibrahimovic has scored 15 goals in 25 Premier League games and 26 goals in 39 games in all competitions.
He claimed in January to have “conquered England” in just three months.
Time will tell whether that meant he’ll become a soccer superhero in another locale? Somewhere near Hollywood, perhaps?
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/NBC Sports