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Just what is going on with Ibrahimovic at Manchester United?

Monday 12th June 2017
Contrary to what many may have believed, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a Manchester United player no longer after his release from the club was confirmed on Friday afternoon. The immensely talented Swede has spent just one season with the Red Devils but the injury he sustained in the Europa League proved to be the end of his tenure at the club.

Many fans had believed Zlatan would be retained after the Swede refused any wage payments during his injury absence and opted to use his own funds to pay for the medical assistance he received in America to repair his damaged Anterior Cruciate Ligament. This has not proven to be the case as United look to move on from the self-proclaimed 'God of Manchester' and Zlatan will be free to discuss terms with any club willing to take a chance on him.

Curiously, Zlatan is the only player (so far) to have been released by United. Generally speaking, the club allows some of their reserve and academy players to end their association with the club at the end of the season but all of the 17-year olds have been offered professional deals with Manchester United and all fringe players will be retained unless sold during the transfer window.

Jose Mourinho has confused a large portion of the United faithful across the course of his first season in charge and has done it yet again with this unusual revelation. The Portuguese has never been a great advocate of academy and youth players, usually he prefers to buy a crop of players in their prime as he has at Chelsea, Inter and Real in the past.

It is by no means a bad thing for United, to retain the youngsters, as we all saw during the final game of the Premier League season. The next generation of United's academy stars acquitted themselves very capable against Crystal Palace and we are all hoping to see more of Josh Harrop and company in the coming months and years.

However, as much as it appears Zlatan's time in Manchester is over, it may only be a temporary arrangement as rumours begin to circulate that the big Swede will be offered a short-term deal when, and if, he recovers from his ACL injury. The likely outcome is Ibrahimovic spending the coming six months recuperating from surgery with United's medical team and an assessment will be made when he is close to 100% fitness.

Realistically, United could do with his exorbitant wages (around £367K if reports are to be believed) off their outgoings and half a season without paying for a luxury player in the hospital sounds like a great deal - especially if Ibrahimovic can return from injury at the same level of fitness and ability.

Gary Neville was once quoted as saying players come back the same from injury but the motormouth pundit might well be proven wrong in this instance. Zlatan's injury came at the worst possible time for both the player and the club but he may still have a major part to play in the 2017/18 season, albeit from January onwards.
Kristian Webb
A Manchester United fan who actually knows where Manchester is; I'm the chief writer for AccumulatorTips, ForzaSwansea and a contributor to WhatCulture's video game section. I'm a professional proofreader, content author and SEO Expert but that doesn't mean there won't be the odd grammatical error!

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