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Manchester United made Zlatan Ibrahimovic turn down David Beckham and MLS

13.21K   //    27 Jul 2016, 16:38 IST
Zlatan Ibrahimovich
Zlatan Ibrahimovic after completing the signing at Manchester United

Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic has disclosed that the prospect of playing for Manchester United with his old friend Jose Mourinho prompted him to turn down a lucrative offer at David Beckham’s Miami-based Major League Soccer club.

This gives Zlatan Ibrahimovich a chance to play in the Premier League for the first time ever after achieving thunderous feats in the Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1. Despite his decision, the 35-going-18 striker has not dismissed the odds of him playing in the MLS before he retires.

"David is a good friend of mine, and he has asked me to play for his [Miami] team," Ibrahimovic told Goal.

"For now, I want to achieve big things with Manchester United, but I have a lot of respect for the MLS, and anything is possible.”

Read: David Beckham tips Jose Mourinho to win the Premier League in his first season at Manchester United

Ibrahimovic continued in his usual pompous tone, but also insisted that it was the opportunity to play for a highly regarded club and to reunite with his manager from days at Inter Milan which he couldn’t ignore. "I am not ruling out the MLS. Once I had decided to leave PSG there were many offers, but with Zlatan that is normal.

"I know that teams from the MLS were interested, but the opportunity to play for Manchester United, and of course to work with my good friend Jose Mourinho again, was impossible to turn down."

Read also: Jose Mourinho dismisses concerns over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's age

Ibrahimovic feels he is in such great physical shape that he could easily play until the age of 40. He will turn 35 in October, and with the striker opting for only a year’s contract at United, it seems a move to MLS is possible.

"I would never rule out the MLS in the future. I have a contract with Manchester United, but I feel in great shape," he added. "I feel as though I could play until I am 40. It is impossible to predict the future."

However, David Beckham’s Miami-based team is only a proposed professional club at the moment. The team is scheduled to join Major League Soccer depending on negotiations over stadium financing and location. They are expected to join the expanded MLS in 2018.

The Miami team is part of the MLS expansion plan that will increase the number of teams from 20 to 24 teams by 2020 and to 28 teams beyond. The other teams granted allocations are Los Angeles, Minnesota and Atlanta.

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