It is that burning drive deep inside Zlatan Ibrahimovic that is keeping the LA Galaxy on their toes.
With a disappointing MLS season behind them the American franchise is heading into a calm waters of winter break knowing that keeping the Swedish sensation happy without a ball at his feet would a tough challenge.
Any Cure for Winter Boredom?
Despite ultimately failing to push his team into the MLS playoffs, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is coming off from a highly successful Stateside stint. The total of 22 goals and 10 assists in 27 appearances made him the MLS newcomer of the year while his debut LA Galaxy striker was voted the MLS Goal of the Year.
It’s an overall remarkable achievement for a 37-year-old who entertained the United States audience and once again walked into the limelight with a host of European sides casting admiring glances towards his time-defying qualities.
Zlatan is a player who feeds on praise – and criticism even more so – and will not be expected to sit idle during the off months in the MLS.
His former club AC Milan have already made an advance towards a reunion and a prospect of Ibrahimovic moving back to Europe – albeit on a six-month loan deal – is the one that not only excites. It scares too.
The LA Galaxy fear they could lose Ibra for good if he were to seal his European return. The enigmatic striker signed a two-year contract with the MLS franchise back in March and is due to remain in Los Angeles until December 2019.
Can LA Galaxy Endure Pressure?
Contracts are biding but can be overcome and the LA Galaxy chiefs are said to be working around the clock to make sure Ibra is in for a second season in Hollywood. Sun, beaches and the entertainment factor aside, the competitive edge is something Ibrahimovic needs in order to keep him alive.
A simple prospect of returning to AC Milan will carry an emotional note to it and would allow Ibrahimovic to close the full circle with the Serie A giants. The Swede was basically forced out of the club in 2012 when Rossoneri sold both him and Thiago Silva to balance their books and avoid financial struggles.
The Italian giants are slowly getting back up to their feet and both sporting director Leonardo and Paulo Maldini as a sporting strategy and development director are said to be working behind the scenes to get Ibra to San Siro again.
Tuesday’s edition of the Italian daily press claims Rossoneri have a concrete offer on the table for Ibra, adding that contact has already been established. AC Milan are reportedly prepared to fork out €2 million on six-month wages while an option to extend his stay for another year is also on the cards.
Return to Milan More than a Mere Thought
Ibra’s return – alongside a couple of more possible additions in the likes of Cesc Fabregas or his teammate Andreas Christensen who are both linked with a move to AC Milan – will surely incresase AC Milan’s chances of finishing the season within the top-four.
Currently one point behind the fourth-placed Lazio, Rossoneri are given 11/10 to grab a Champions League spot, with or without Ibrahimovic.
Should Swede play a hand in making it possible for Rossoneri a spot in Europe’s elite club competition would definitely be enough of a reason for the player himself to push through an extended stay with his beloved Rossoneri.
In the end it is that football nerve that’s driving him forward, not sun, beaches and Hollywood glamour – with no disrespect to one of the biggest clubs in the MLS.
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