Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United for LA Galaxy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United for LA Galaxy

Manchester United have confirmed the termination of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's contract as the striker prepares to join LA Galaxy.

The 36-year-old was released last summer after a fine first season at Old Trafford ended in a serious knee injury, only to be rewarded with a new contract until the end of the 2017-18 season in August last year.

However, Ibrahimovic has only managed seven appearances this term as a knee issue halted his comeback and United have now confirmed his exit.

It is understood that the 36-year-old is set to sign for Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy, with confirmation possible as early as tomorrow.

A statement from United 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."

Ibrahimovic released a statement on Instagram, alongside a picture of him arm wrestling with a red devil in a nod to United's nickname.

To see this post on Instagram, click here.

He wrote: "Great things also come to an end and it is time to move on after two fantastic seasons with Manchester United. Thank you to the club, the fans, the team, the coach, the staff and everybody who shared with me this part of my history."

Ibrahimovic returned for United in November after recovering from surgery to repair his ruptured cruciate ligament.

But his last game was on December 26, when he was substituted at half-time of the 2-2 draw at home to Burnley, and, although earlier this month he said he was targeting the Champions League last-16 second leg tie with Sevilla, he did not make the matchday 18.

The arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January and the form of Romelu Lukaku have made it even less likely for Ibrahimovic to regain his place and, with question marks over his fitness and his contract ticking down, the time appears right for a move.

Manager Jose Mourinho began to pave the way for an exit when he said in January he would not stand in the former Sweden international's way if he wanted to leave Old Trafford.

Earlier this month the United boss admitted he expected the striker to leave at the end of the season.

Ibrahimovic, who scored 29 goals in 53 matches for United, would be the latest big-name signing for the Galaxy following the likes of former United and Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham and ex-Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

However, MLS has moved away from signing ageing players in recent years.

Former Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger's move from United to the Chicago Fire last March was the exception rather the rule, with the 12 designated players brought from outside MLS for the 2018 season having an average age of 23.16 years old.

However, Ibrahimovic's talent and standing in the game has proved understandably attractive for the Galaxy.

The most successful team in MLS history need a statement signing after a poor campaign and the arrival of Los Angeles Football Club.

The new kids of the block have won the first two matches in MLS, with coach Bob Bradley and the likes of Carlos Vela being embraced by the LA football community.

- PA

More on this topic

Divided Danes wary as Irish ‘stronger’ under McCarthyDivided Danes wary as Irish ‘stronger’ under McCarthy

Woodward hits out at United’s critics and once again backs under-fire SolskjaerWoodward hits out at United’s critics and once again backs under-fire Solskjaer

Pochettino plays down team unrest after WhatsApp dinner invitePochettino plays down team unrest after WhatsApp dinner invite

Emery may throw Ozil back into action when fixtures stack upEmery may throw Ozil back into action when fixtures stack up


More in this Section

West Ham boss Pellegrini surprised by Everton’s strugglesWest Ham boss Pellegrini surprised by Everton’s struggles

Robertson wary of Manchester United threat and insists form is irrelevantRobertson wary of Manchester United threat and insists form is irrelevant

Irish fans in mad dash to swap quarter-final ticketsIrish fans in mad dash to swap quarter-final tickets

WATCH: Japanese team a hit off the pitch too with rock-paper-scissors videoWATCH: Japanese team a hit off the pitch too with rock-paper-scissors video


Lifestyle

Leopard print midi dresses and sequins swirled beneath glossy goddess hair and golden headbands as the great and the good of Cork gathered for ieStyle Live.Leopard print and sequins to the fore at inaugural #IEStyleLive event

You have a long half-term break ahead of you all, and there’s only so much screen time anyone in the family can handle. Everyone is going to need a book-break at some point or another.We reviewed some of the best new books to keep kids entertained over half-term

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

More From The Irish Examiner