Manchester United Transfer News: Fresh Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jesse Lingard Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United during the EFL Cup Final match between Manchester United and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on February 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been offered an annual salary of £15 million to join Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season, according to reports.

Neil Fissler of the Sunday Express has stated that the Galaxy want to make Ibrahimovic the highest-paid footballer in the history of Major League Soccer, although the Red Devils are keen to activate the option for a second season on his contract.

According to Fissler, Ibrahimovic’s potential earnings in MLS would far exceed those picked up by the league’s current top earner, Orlando City man Kaka. The Brazil international is said to take home around £5.9 million every season.

Kaka is currently MLS's top earner.
Kaka is currently MLS's top earner.Alex Menendez/Getty Images

"Galaxy are owned by American entertainment giants AEG, the operators of London’s O2 Arena, and the biggest owner of sports teams in the world," the report continued. "So the finances are available to tempt Ibrahimovic to the States a year after he rejected them to move to United and become one of their designated players."

Reports of a possible departure will concern United supporters. After all, as these figures from OptaJoe illustrate, he’s been the team’s main source of goals since arriving:

Ibrahimovic does more than just stick the ball in the back of the net, though. His footballing abilities make him a tremendous target man, while it’s also clear he’s a figure many in the United dressing room look up to.

Ibrahimovic has already made a big impact at United.
Ibrahimovic has already made a big impact at United.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manager Jose Mourinho will be aware of the fact that at 35, Ibrahimovic isn’t a player who is going to be around at the highest level for much longer. Factor in the the Swede has moved clubs frequently throughout his career, and that United may not qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, and perhaps it’d be no huge surprise to see him move on.

He’s become the darling of Old Trafford since his arrival, though, and all tied to the club would love to see him strut his stuff in Manchester for another term at least.

United Open Jesse Lingard Negotiations

Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (C) celebrates scoring their second goal with Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) during the English League Cup final football match between Manchester United and Southampton at W
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

According to Steve Bates of the Sunday Mirror, Manchester United are to hold negotiations with versatile forward Jesse Lingard over a new contract.

"Lingard is one of the lowest-paid members of the current first-team squad at United and is looking to considerably boost his current financial deal after recently changing agents," added Bates, who also noted that Tottenham Hotspur have been monitoring the player’s situation.

The 24-year-old may not be one of the most glamorous attacking options in the Red Devils squad at the moment, but he’s evolved into a very handy option for Mourinho.

Indeed, Lingard has shown his worth in some big games for the club over the last couple of seasons, developing a desirable trait of netting at Wembley Stadium. Per Sky Sports Statto, he’s scored in three finals for his team:

However, matches aren’t all played at the national stadium, and there are times when Lingard can frustrate. Sports journalist Liam Canning has called on him to do more:

It’s easy to see why Mourinho would be keen to extend Lingard’s current contract beyond 2018. Not only does he have a taste for the big games, the winger is hard-working, adaptable and seemingly content with his place on the periphery of the first team.

Lingard will be keen to make improvements and force his way into the side on a more regular basis. But he’s a United academy graduate who seems to be enjoying playing a part at the Theatre of Dreams.


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