Manchester United have terminated Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with immediate effect amid mounting speculation the veteran striker is on the verge of joining Major League Soccer franchise LA Galaxy.
Ibrahimovic joined United from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in 2016 and his debut season yielded 28 goals in 46 games as Jose Mourinho’s side won the EFL Cup and Europa League.
However, a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained against Anderlecht during the latter competition left him sidelined for eight months and, although the 36-year-old’s rate of rehabilitation earned a contract extension under Jose Mourinho, he has largely appeared off the pace in seven appearances this term – five of which have come from the bench.
A brief statement issued on United’s official website read: “Manchester United confirms that it has agreed to the termination of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with immediate effect.
“Everyone at the club would like to thank Zlatan for his contribution to the team since his arrival and wishes him well for the future.”
#MUFC has agreed to the termination of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with immediate effect.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 22, 2018
Ibrahimovic’s departure from Old Trafford almost certainly brings to a close one of the most decorated European club careers of all time.
He won top-flight titles in Netherlands, Italy and Spain, representing Ajax, Inter, Barcelona and AC Milan before joining PSG and kickstarting their era of dominance in Ligue 1.
If Ibrahimovic joins LA Galaxy, as is widely expected, he will follow in the footsteps of United favourite David Beckham, Republic of Ireland’s record goalscorer Robbie Keane and England cap centurions Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole by taking in a late career chapter in Los Angeles.
Cole was sent off in a 2-1 defeat at New York City last time out, a result that came on the back of a season-opening win over Portland Timbers.
Sigi Schmid’s side travel to face Vancouver Whitecaps this weekend before hosting LAFC in the inaugural Los Angeles derby at the end of the month.
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