New MLS franchise Los Angeles FC will reportedly offer Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic £5 million per season to be their marquee star and allow the Swede to return to the Premier League on a loan deal for the first half of the 2017-18 season.
According to Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail, LAFC are confident no team can match their unique offer for the 35-year-old, which would allow him to stay in Manchester to start next season before travelling to the United States ahead of the 2018 MLS campaign.
The expansion franchise will start their maiden MLS season in March of next year and are in the market for a major star to anchor the squad, per owner Tom Penn: "We have spoken about the desire for a player of global stature. We want a player who is passionate about becoming the first LAFC legend. They will likely be loaned back so that they can continue to play football in Europe."
According to the report, former Premier League stars Steven Gerard and Frank Lampard earned roughly £5 million per season during their time in MLS. Former Real Madrid star Kaka is the competition's highest earner.
Ibrahimovic will be out of contract during the summer―his deal does include an option of a second season―and his future is uncertain. The veteran has been a smash hit during his first season in the Premier League, to the point Footy Accumulators was shocked when he didn't start United's recent win over Chelsea:
Footy Accumulators @FootyAccums
IBRAHIMOVIC ON THE BENCH FOR UNITED. https://t.co/8wJmZIVX4Y4/16/2017, 2:00:41 PM
UEFA Champions League qualification could be a decisive factor in negotiations, per Ladyman. The Mancunians can still qualify for the competition by winning the UEFA Europa League or via a strong run to end the Premier League season.
The Belgian is on loan at Sunderland but has barely made a mark with the Black Cats, and he seems unlikely to feature in United manager Jose Mourinho's plans.
For Fenerbahce, Januzaj could be a cheaper option than Jeremain Lens, the winger Sunderland are trying to sell to the Istanbul-based club with whom the Dutchman is on loan.
Januzaj's career has ground to a halt after a promising first season at Old Trafford, and the tricky winger is in dire need of a change. Per football writer Sam Pilger, things clearly haven't worked out for the Belgian:
Sam Pilger @sampilger
@CosmicAero Started well, but in the long run Zaha has proved to be a far better player than Januzaj4/9/2017, 3:27:58 PM
The 22-year-old didn't impress on loan with Borussia Dortmund in 2015-16, and a move to the less competitive Super Lig may be just what he needs. Confidence seems to be Januzaj's main issue―he almost seems reluctant to take on his man at times, the very strength that excited fans when he first emerged as a top talent back in 2013.
United could include a buy-back option into the deal in case Januzaj makes good on his immense potential―in return, the initial transfer fee could be lowered, which would benefit cash-strapped Fenerbahce. Per Rayner, the club is wary of contravening UEFA's financial fair play regulations.