Mourinho sanctions new Manchester United deal for Ibrahimovic

Jose Mourinho has given Manchester United the green light to offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic a new deal with a January return earmarked, reports The Daily Record.

Ibrahimovic is currently a free agent after United opted against renewing the 35-year-old’s contract in the wake of his serious knee injury at the end of April.

It was initially feared that the former Sweden international would have to retire following the severity of the injury, but Ibrahimovic’s recovery is going quicker than anyone expected and it has even been suggested he could return to training as early as October.

United have already spent £75m to sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton and Mourinho was planning for the arrival of another striker, but news of Ibrahimovic’s swift recovery has forced the Portuguese to revaluate his transfer strategy.

Mourinho now wants Ibrahimovic to return to his first-team squad in January to ease the burden on Marcus Rashford and Lukaku, which will also free up extra funds to strengthen elsewhere now another striker will no longer be required.

Ibrahimovic reportedly had a four-hour meeting with his agent Mino Raiola on Thursday, but it remains to be seen whether they discussed extending the striker’s stay at Old Trafford or whether it was about a big-money move elsewhere.

Despite only managing to play in nine months of last season, Ibrahimovic has still scored more Premier League goals than any other United player in the last two campaigns (17) and even got his hands on his first ever European trophy in the form of the Europa League.