Chelsea Transfer News: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Agent Fuels Rumours of England Move

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2016

PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts during the Champions League Group A soccer match between PSG and FC Shakhtar Donetsk at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Francois Mori/Associated Press

Mino Raiola, agent of Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has given a strong hint the striker could be set to make a long-awaited move to the Premier League in the summer.

Per Sky Sports' Ben Reynolds, he said:

I would like to see him in the Premier League.  I think it's a game that is made for him with his strength, his ability, his technique, the stadiums with fantastic atmosphere and how football is lived.

It's difficult now because for the first time in his life he wants to be a free agent so that he can look around and have a feeling day by day what he wants to do. 

There are a lot of projects on our table but he has not decided yet. Can he go to England? In theory yes he can because he will be a free agent and for sure there are some clubs always interested in him. What we will do at the end, I really don't know.

As Reynolds' report indicates, Ibrahimovic is out of contract with PSG in the summer and will be free to choose between his inevitable smorgasbord of suitors.

According to Metro's Sean Kearns, Chelsea are among several of the Premier League's elite to be put "on red alert" by the revelation, along with Manchester United and Arsenal.

Andreas Hillergren/Associated Press

Raiola confirmed the centre-forward would be seeing out the remainder of his contract in the French capital, though, ruling out a move in the winter transfer window.

"No, he will definitely stay with Paris Saint Germain until the end of the season," he said, per Reynolds. "He wants to be with them, they want to be with him. We have a very strong relationship with the club. He will not leave in January."

Ibrahimovic's glittering career has seen him win league titles at every club he's played for since leaving Malmo in his youth in a variety of European leagues—from Ajax to Juventus, Barcelona, Inter Milan and AC Milan.

Despite his advancing age—Ibrahimovic is now 34—the Sweden international continues to score a phenomenal number of goals.

Francois Mori/Associated Press

The striker has 17 goals and nine assists to his name already this season, following up from last season's tallies of 30 and eight, respectively.

As numbers demonstrate, Ibrahimovic is not only one of the world's most clinical front men but also a highly effective creator of goals. He was virtually unrivalled in that respect in Ligue 1 last year, per OptaJean:

The Guardian named him the seventh-best player in the world for 2015, and the Times' Henry Winter is hoping to see him in England next season.

Of the English clubs linked with him, Chelsea seem the most likely destination.

Though a striker of Ibrahimovic's potency would be an incredibly useful addition to Arsenal's squad, he wouldn't be the most natural fit at the Emirates Stadium. And Gunners boss Arsene Wenger seems unlikely to recruit a player of his age even on a free transfer.

Likewise, United desperately need more firepower. A move for Ibrahimovic is conceivable for the Red Devils, but as the signings of players such as Anthony Martial (20) and Memphis Depay (21) indicate, the Manchester outfit are perhaps more focussed on recruiting younger players for the future.

Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Meanwhile, a year at Chelsea seems a likely outcome. The Blues have shown their willingness to take risks on similar deals such as Radamel Falcao's one-year loan spell. The key difference here is Ibrahimovic's continued form makes him far less of a gamble.

Further, Chelsea typically play with one striker—something that would certainly suit Ibrahimovic after his high-profile struggles in adapting to play alongside Edinson Cavani—and favour players of similar stature and power.

England and Germany are the only major European countries in which the forward has not plied his trade, so it seems likely Ibrahimovic will want to test himself in the Premier League before his incredible career draws to a close.

With that being the case, there's a strong chance he'll be turning out at Stamford Bridge next season.