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Zlatan's Quest: Where to now for Ibra?

Zlatan's Quest: Where to now for Ibra?

27/01/16 27 January 2016

So what’s next for Zlatan? His contract is near expired in Paris and as you can imagine near every club is on high alert keen on his signature.  We’ve been assessing his options to see where the journeyman may end up.

We’re certain that there will be an offer from an MLS or Arab club may attempt to lure him away from the big leagues with a dump truck full of money, though the concept of Ibra giving up on his Champions League dream seems dubious at the very best – a move to one of Europe’s elite seems more fitting.

Both Manchester clubs will undoubtedly make a move though recent performances suggest that City aren’t exactly closing in on Europe’s grandest prize and United will most likely not even participate next season (it’s more likely he will join Leicester City lol). Let’s not forget that both these clubs are hell bent on landing Guardiola – the likelihood of those two working together again is literally impossible.

Zlatan and City: 4/10
Zlatan and United: 2/10
Zlatan and Guardiola: 0/10

Based on the theory of UCL ambition we can just about disregard Chelsea and AC Milan, previous experiences rule out Barcelona and fans would revolt in Turin if Juventus took him back after joining their fiercest rivals after the club’s demotion to Serie B, though the club’s directors may just see bigger picture in continental glory, especially if reports of Liverpool preparing a £60m move for the out-of-favour Morata are true.

There is the possibility of Inter but it does seem highly unlikely that he’d return with his tail between his legs after he left in an attempt to win the Champions League only for the Nerrazzuri to lift the trophy that following season.

Zlatan and Chelsea: 2/10
Zlatan and AC Milan: 2/10
Zlatan and Barcelona: 0/10
Zlatan and Juventus: 4/10
Zlatan and Inter: 2/10

What do we think of Real Madrid or Arsenal as potential suitors? It’s difficult to imagine Zlatan going to Arsenal. There is that story that always seems to come up when the words Arsenal and Ibrahimovic are mentioned in the same breathe – “Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”. We’re not saying that they will ask him again to trial, but Arsenal's limping through into the round-of-16 wouldn’t exactly inspire Zlatan to make the move. Despite all the rumors this is one we believe probably the least. If he is moving to the Premier League it will most likely be in Manchester.

Zlatan and Arsenal: 2/10

At first glance it really does make a lot of sense for Ibra to join Real Madrid – he’d make a fantastic galactico. And at the same time is there a better way to attempt to spite his previous employers by joining their sworn enemy? The only obstacle is the transfer ban that takes effect the very instant Ibrahimovic is free to sign so any potential move would have to be made within the next 3 days. In our eyes this does make the move impossible and we’re a little disappointed.

Zlatan and Real Madrid: 0/10

With Guardiola’s departure it does supposedly open up the door for a move to Bayern. Only potential issues we see in this are that Bayern are already a super-force and current striker Robert Lewandowski is as good as anyone in the world. Is it likely that Bayern would to be keen to risk introducing a temperamental character potentially unsettling the squad harmony even for someone as freakishly talented as Ibra? We’re not too sure. Maybe if Bayern were to cash in on Lewandowski, perhaps…

Bayern are a realistic option for Ibrahimovic to claim that elusive prize and the prospect of winning the Bundesliga must be an appealing one in itself – it’s one of the few domestic honors missing from the Swede’s trophy cabinet. We should also take into account Bayern’s new manager starting in July, Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian is one of the most easy-going characters in world football and has a history of managing big-egos very well, not to mention his Champions League record speaks for itself. The pair worked together at PSG and are on great terms despite Ancelotti revealing of how he kicked a box at Zlatan’s head (possibly the only man on earth who could get away with doing that).

Zlatan and Bayern: 7/10

All factors considered it seems a move to Bayern is most likely, though it will take a few cogs to move in order for it to be a reality. There is the possibility of Zlatan deciding to stay with PSG, but why would he wait for the last moment to sign a new deal at a place where he is supposedly happy? It seems that he is looking for a better offer and will only stay in Paris if one doesn’t come about. PSG, Juventus, Manchester City or Bayern? We'll find out soon enough.