Opinion: How Zlatan Ibrahimovic would fit in at Manchester United

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According to speculation this week, Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be interested in a move to Manchester United this summer if Louis van Gaal is replaced.

Sky Sports suggested that the Swedish international has shown a willingness to move to Old Trafford, but it would have to involve a potential reunion with Jose Mourinho.

While the 34-year-old still has his detractors and critics, his record ultimately speaks for itself and despite his advancing years, he continues to be a hugely influential part of Paris Saint-Germain’s success this year.

Not content with winning multiple league titles in Holland, Italy, Spain and France, Ibrahimovic has scored 39 goals and provided 16 assists in 42 appearances in all competitions so far this season, proving that he still has plenty left to offer at the highest level.

Whether or not he will display those talents at United next season remains to be seen, but it certainly appears as though it would be a perfect fit on paper.

Provided that Mourinho does arrive, with ESPN FC reporting that the Portuguese tactician is still confident that he will take charge at United this summer, then the pair will strike up an immediate winning mentality and culture at the club.

Having previously worked together at Inter, Mourinho will know all about what Ibrahimovic can offer, and how best to utilise him as part of his team.

United essentially have all the pieces in place already to be successful next year, provided that the Ibra-Mourinho combination is added to it in the summer.

The towering forward will slot in perfectly to lead the line, allowing Mourinho to deploy the likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford in and around him.

While he still possesses great skill, strength and vision, Ibrahimovic isn’t, and arguably has never been, one of the most mobile strikers in Europe. By surrounding him with youthful energy and players that can produce the movement required to unlock defences, they would work well together.

One key name that was obviously missed in that scenario was Wayne Rooney, and although the England captain has come under increased scrutiny this season, he undoubtedly has a big role to play at United for years to come.

However, that involves a switch to a new role, and one that takes him deeper on the pitch into midfield. Of course, that isn’t a new idea as it has been discussed for some time, and next season could finally be the right time for the 30-year-old to make that move.

As mentioned above, Ibrahimovic will always have doubters. That will likely only motivate him more, and while he wouldn’t magically drag United back to the top of the Premier League single-handedly, he would be a decisive addition that would transform the Red Devils into contenders.

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