Zlatan Ibrahimovic Exits Manchester United, Expected to Sign with LA Galaxy

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IMarch 22, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on December 26, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United have confirmed they have terminated Zlatan Ibrahimovic's contract amid speculation he is set to join Major League Soccer side L.A. Galaxy.

Jose Mourinho's side agreed to release the Swede from his contract "with immediate effect," according to a club statement:

The Swede's move to L.A. Galaxy is expected to be announced on Friday, according to Sky Sports News.

Ibrahimovic moved to Old Trafford from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in July 2016 and was an instant hit at the English club. He scored 28 goals in all competitions in his first season and helped the Red Devils win the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League.

However, his season ended prematurely, as he suffered a severe cruciate ligament injury against Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter-finals in April 2017 that required surgery and saw him sidelined until November.

Despite the injury, he signed a one-year deal with United in August 2017 and made his long-awaited comeback in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United in November. However, he has made just six appearances for the club since, scoring once.

Squawka Football highlighted his impressive record during his time at Old Trafford:

Per Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, Mourinho said at the start of March he expected this season to be Ibrahimovic's last at the club: "Zlatan—we all think it's his last season at Manchester United and will be a very personal decision for him to play or to stop." 

Manchester United have a number of attacking options having spent heavily on Romelu Lukaku in summer 2017 and then adding Alexis Sanchez in the January transfer window. The club also have Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, which makes competition for places in the attack fierce.

Samuel Luckhurst at the Manchester Evening News said Ibrahimovic was no longer good enough to make the bench:

Ibrahimovic will now hope he can regain form and fitness at the Galaxy. The MLS season kicked off on March 3, and the transfer window is open until May 1.

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl said it is an excellent deal for Sigi Schmid's side:

There's no doubting Ibrahimovic's quality, and he will be an excellent addition if he can regain his top form. His arrival will also help boost the profile of MLS further, although doubts remain over whether Ibrahimovic can get back to best after such a severe injury.  

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