TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Reports
The idea has been rumored, reported, discussed and debated for about half a decade, and now it may finally be coming to pass: Zlatan Ibrahimovic to MLS.
The iconic Swedish striker has officially cut ties with Manchester United, the English superclub announced on Thursday, and will join the LA Galaxy according to reports from the LA Times, ESPN and others.
The news of Ibra's departure from ManU was originally reported by ESPN's Mark Ogden, who cited anonymous sources stating that the 36-year-old legend was set to sign a two-year contract via the use of Targeted Allocation Money. The Galaxy already have a full complement of Designated Players, with Giovani dos Santos, his brother Jonathan and Romain Alessandrini.
The Times' Kevin Baxter was the first to report that the player had indeed agreed to terms with the Galaxy, while Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl contributed additional reporting about the Swede's wages, which he says will be $1.5 million per year.
The Galaxy have long been linked to Ibrahimovic, one of world soccer's most prolific goalscorers of the 21st century as well as a larger-than-life character known for his huge ego and outsized achievements in both individual and team terms. Befitting that personality, he posted this farewell message after his departure from Manchester United:
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. #foreverred pic.twitter.com/vo1Gs3SUHL— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) March 22, 2018
Ibrahimovic has won league championships in Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands, as well as the UEFA Europa League and FIFA Club World Cup, and while he's been unable to capture the UEFA Champions League trophy, he's the only player in that competition's history to play for seven different teams in it. The top scorer in Swedish national team history, Ibrahimovic retired from international play in 2016 but has publicly mulled returning to the squad in order to take part in this summer's World Cup.