Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, has revealed that his client will only remain at Manchester United if they qualify for the Champions League this season.
The Swede, who arrived last summer on a one year deal, has claimed 28 goals so far this season, earning a nomination for the PFA Player of the Year award in the process.
Doubt continues to loom over whether Zlatan will elect to remain at Man United for another season, however, with some reports claiming that a move overseas could be on the cards.
And Raiola, when asked about the 35-year-old’s future, was quick to stress the importance of Champions League football in Zlatan’s decision on his next destination over the summer.
“Zlatan knows what he wants to do,” he said. “He wants to play in the final of the Champions League, and if possible to win it.
“We’re not going to be pressed and we’ll take the right decision. Zlatan has desire and he is motivated. He has no need for a financial motivation to continue; he wants to prove that he can still play at the highest level.
“Zlatan has priorities, such as finishing the season well and playing a good European Championship. The rest is up to me.”
Ibrahimovic noted prior to the 2010 World Cup that, without his presence, it couldn’t be a proper World Cup. And the same can be said for next year’s Champions League. It is indeed surprising, in a way, that Zlatan chose to spend a season away from Europe’s elite; two seasons away is unthinkable for a player of his calibre, one suspects.
Zlatan’s ultimatum with the club will only serve as further incentive to claim a place in next year’s Champions League. United’s failure and his subsequent departure would just be detrimental to Mourinho’s side, but also a massive blow to the club’s global image.