Manchester United Transfer News: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Talks Held, Latest Rumours

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2016

PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring during his League One soccer match against Troyes, in Troyes, France, Sunday, March 13, 2016. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four second-half goals as Paris Saint-Germain clinched its fourth straight French league title in style, pulverizing last-place Troyes 9-0 on Sunday to become champion with a record eight games to spare. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Thibault Camus/Associated Press

Manchester United have reportedly made "initial contact" as they bid to snap up Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will be a free agent this summer,

According to L'Equipe (h/t Dipesh Agarwal of Sport Witness), United have opened talks with the forward's camp, most likely his agent Mino Raiola.

Ibrahimovic recently confirmed to beIN Sport (h/t BBC Sport) his intention to leave Paris Saint-Germain when his deal runs out at the end of the season: "For the moment, I will not be at PSG next season. I still have a month and a half left here. If they replace the Eiffel Tower with a statue of me, then I will stay."

The Swede scored four goals on Sunday—including a nine-minute hat-trick—to help Les Parisiens secure the Ligue 1 title two months early. Check out his goals here, per BT Sport Football:

His haul took his overall tally to 27 league goals in 24 games and 35 in all competitions. Despite a reputation for being selfish in front of goal, the 34-year-old has also created a further 16 for his team-mates.

United have lacked both creativity and a killer instinct in the final third this season, so Ibrahimovic would make an excellent signing even if he'd only be a short-term fix because of his age.

The striker also has an indomitable winning mentality, as Bleacher Report UK demonstrated:

That same swagger and will to win has long abandoned the Red Devils following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013, so Ibrahimovic would go some way to restoring it.

The Premier League and the Bundesliga are the only top European leagues in which he is yet to play, and there are far more realistic options for him in the former should he wish to try a new challenge before retirement.

However, BT Sport pundit Julien Laurens doubts Ibrahimovic will pursue a move to the Premier League as the higher standard of opposition increases the risk of him ending his career on a low:

Ibrahimovic has never wanted for confidence, though, so he may back himself to continue his prolific scoring record in England.

PSG have also reportedly joined Real Madrid in the race to sign United goalkeeper David De Gea, according to the Mirror's John Cross.

Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea reacts during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP / PAUL ELLIS
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Kevin Trapp has proved a steady presence between the sticks for the French club, but the Spaniard is seen as a player who can take them to the next level when competing in the Champions League.

As for De Gea, it wouldn't be overly surprising if he did seek a move away this summer following the Red Devils' poor season, particularly if they fail to secure a top-four spot.

As well as Ibrahimovic, United have been linked with another top talent in France, Rennes forward Ousmane Dembele. Simon Jones of the MailOnline reported the Red Devils were among five Premier League clubs scouting the youngster on Sunday, while Barcelona have seemingly already lodged a £27 million bid.

Rennes' French forward Ousmane Dembele kicks the ball   during the French L1 football match Rennes against Lyon on March 13, 2016 at the Roazhon park stadium in Rennes, western France. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER / AFP / DAMIEN MEYER        (Photo credit sho
DAMIEN MEYER/Getty Images

The 18-year-old winger has bagged nine goals and four assists in 18 Ligue 1 outings this season and naturally caught the attention of Europe's elite.

French football writer Andrew Gibney recently sang his praises:

Laurens ran the rule over him for BT Sport:

United have already had success in recruiting promising youngsters from Ligue 1 after landing Anthony Martial, and Dembele would continue their policy of building a team for the future.

As Jones notes, though, they'll face serious competition for his signature, so it would be something of a coup if they could land him ahead of the likes of Barcelona.