Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic moving to California?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is coming to the LA Galaxy. Or at least that’s how José Félix Díaz of Marca.com sees things.
Diaz is reporting that the player will join the Galaxy after being released by Manchester United earlier this week. The report goes on to say that the deal, which was supposedly completed in March, would go into effect if United released Ibrahimovic and that he’ll now move to California to join the Galaxy and be ready for 2018 preseason.
However, following up on Jeff Carlisle’s (ESPNFC) tweet, Corner of the Galaxy also reached out to a source very close to the team who told us that the club is “not interested” in Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the moment.
Club source tells me report that Zlatan is headed to #lagalaxy is "inaccurate" and that at present, Ibra isn't a player they're pursuing.
— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) June 10, 2017
These reports are all surfacing when Ibrahimovic is still recovering from a knee injury that will likely keep him out of any competitive match until at least January.
Spoke to an #LAGalaxy source regarding Zlatan. I Am told that the team is not interested in Zlatan at the moment. #MLS
— Corner Of The Galaxy (@GalaxyPodcast) June 10, 2017
This also isn’t the first time this season we’ve been dealing with this particular rumor. It is almost a certainty that the Galaxy have had some discussion with Ibrahimovic at some point. In April, Fox Deportes reported that he’d be coming to the Galaxy and that put everyone on high alert. But ultimately the rumors subsided and things returned to their relative quiet.
The newest report, once again, isn’t heavy on the details.
Corner of the Galaxy was working under information that if Manchester United didn’t qualify for the Champions’ League then Ibrahimovic would see Los Angeles as a good fit. However, that was before his injury and before United won the Europa League and qualified for next years’ Champions’ League Tournament.
The knee injury and the significant ligament damage that ensued has really thrown question marks into whether or not the Galaxy would even be willing to entertain the thought of the soon-to-be 36-year old playing for the club. While his notoriety is almost unparalleled in the sport – only Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo are bigger names in world football – his age is reaching a point where taking a gamble on his recovery might not be in the cards.
The Galaxy have also been tied to 27-year old Boca Juniors striker, Dario Benedetto in recent weeks with a reported $9 million dollar offer on the table (unconfirmed by the team).
If the club were to sign Ibrahimovic to any sort of contract with the understanding he wouldn’t play until January, that would almost surely mean they’d be unable to sign any other Designated Player this year. Is that something the club is willing to risk?
But on the flip side, it would also allow them to start pre-selling season tickets and kits in the hopes that 2018 – the same year that crosstown rivals Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) joins the league – would be one giant success.
Corner of the Galaxy will continue to follow up on this and every other rumor that surrounds the club as the summer transfer window begins to open and targets are identified.