The internet is flooding with articles proclaiming that Swedish International and Manchester United Superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is coming to the LA Galaxy. According to a report by Fox Deportes (CLICK HERE), Ibrahimovic will leave Manchester United, forgo a possible Champion’s League run, and head over to the west coast to close out his career with the Galaxy.
It should be noted that at this time the only outlet reporting this particular move is Fox Deportes. And while no one seems to be able to prove them wrong, there have been, so far, no corroborating stories. All news articles from different outlets link their way back to Deportes.
Kevin Baxter of the LA Times reported, earlier this year, that the Galaxy had made a record MLS offer to a player. Theories on who that player could be were thrown around with most landing on either Javier “Chicharito” Hernadez or Ibrahimovic. Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl then confirmed that the player was Ibrahimovic. Other European and worldwide outlets put the offer at somewhere around $18-million dollars, although actual numbers are more speculation than fact.
So in fact, Fox Deportes could be on an inside track to a deal that could eventually get done and still has the ability to get done. So it isn’t dead.
Speaking to multiple sources across the league and close to the team, CoG wasn’t able to confirm any of the Fox Deportes reports. Most sources are questioning the timing of the report saying it seems “early” or very “premature.” People CoG talked to were caught completely by surprise, having heard no rumblings of anything close to imminent. It seems the likelihood of the Zlatan coming to LA hasn’t really changed.
ESPNFC’s Jeffrey Carlisle tweeted this morning to say that a “league source tells me that Zlatan to LA Galaxy is ‘not close.'” In his story for that tweet, Carlisle says that according to his source the deal is still “50/50.” Which generally lines up with everything CoG has learned.
— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) April 4, 2017
Jelle Van Damme, LA Galaxy Captain, entered the fray this morning as well. Retweeting this story from VoetbalNiews.be, but again, referencing the Fox Deportes report. And let’s not forget that Van Damme likes to have fun and joke around, so it can’t simply be assumed that he knows something on this deal. It’s more likely he’s adding fuel to the fire, rather than confirming anything.
The LA Galaxy responded to my question about Zlatan and the Fox Deportes report saying that there is “nothing from us.” And while this is not a confirmation or a denial, I’m not putting too much stock in it. If things were really getting heated I’d expect a we-can’t-talk-about-other-teams’-players type of thing. Or a simple “no comment.”
Ibrahimovic is in the final year of his contract with Manchester United. However, talks have been taking place between Ibrahimovic and the club, according to multiple reports.
As theorized on CoG over the last couple of months, Ibrahimovic is likely to stay if Manchester United reaches the Champions League. Looking like favorites to win the Europa League and gain an automatic berth to the Champions’ League, it would be difficult to see Ibrahimovic leave Manchester for Los Angeles. And because that decision still has some time to play out, an announcement to come to LA wouldn’t seem smart at the current time.
In a video posted on the Manchester United Facebook page and twitter pages today, Ibrahimovic is seen talking about when United fans would know his future. “Listen, if I had something to say I would already have said it,” said Ibrahimovic. “There is nothing to say. We are talking. If we are far from each other, or close to each other, there is no news. There are still talks. So let’s see what will happen. I’m open. There is nothing done yet.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 4, 2017
The bottom line seems to be that the Galaxy are no closer to landing Ibrahimovic then before the Fox Deportes report. However, it doesn’t mean Fox Deportes is wrong. They just might be very, very early.
For now, Galaxy fans should take deep breaths. If another source for the report pops up, then all hell could break loose. Aren’t rumors fun?