Report: Manchester United Rumoured to Want Zlatan Ibrahimovic in January

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2018

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 24:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy during the Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS match against Los Angeles FC at the StubHub Center on August 24, 2018 in Carson, California.  The match ended in a 1-1 tie.  (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be ready for a dramatic return to Manchester United, with Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho considering a loan move for the L.A. Galaxy striker.

Mark Ogden of ESPN FC reported the mercurial Swede could sign a short-term deal to play at Old Trafford.

Mourinho needs some added quality and veteran leadership in his squad to help him steady the ship in the Premier League and Europe after a poor start to the 2018-19 season.

Ogden wrote: 

"The true worth of Ibrahimovic to the under-pressure Mourinho would be the Swede's influence in the dressing room."

"To some at United, it is not a coincidence that disharmony within the squad has become an issue since Ibrahimovic moved away."

(L-R) Jesse Lingard of Manchester United, Paul Pogba of Manchester United, Chris Smalling of Manchester United, Juan Mata of Manchester United, Wayne Rooney of Manchester United, Antonio Valencia of Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester Unit
VI-Images/Getty Images

Ibrahimovic's first spell at United was hampered by a knee injury at the end of his first season, but the world-class forward was considered a success as he helped the team win the UEFA Europa League, EFL Cup and FA Community Shield.

United replaced the veteran with Romelu Lukaku from Everton, but after finishing second in the Premier League last term, the atmosphere has turned sour at the club.

Issues with senior squad members remain, with Paul Pogba's future in doubt after reportedly falling out with his coach.

Pogba and Ibrahimovic share the same agent, and the attacker's temporary return could help restore order within the United ranks.

Ibrahimovic has always been a huge advocate of Mourinho, and their relationship was a key factor in attracting the former Sweden international in 2016.

The 37-year-old recently gave a passionate defence of the Old Trafford boss and said the Portuguese remains the correct person to take United back to the top of world football.

Tim Ireland/Associated Press

Speaking to BetHard (h/t Alex Richards of the Mirror), Ibrahimovic said:

"I think he is the right coach for that club, for that team.

"But a coach is only as good as his team, so it's not like he can do miracles if the team is not good enough.

"And I feel the team is good—it's progressing, becoming better. This is his third year, the players know more and more the way he wants to play and how he wants it—so I believe, yes."

The striker has continued to find the back of the net since moving to MLS, scoring 21 goals and providing five assists in only 25 appearances.

That's a consistency Mourinho could do with right now. The MLS off-season will allow Ibrahimovic the chance to finish his association with United in style, and also do his friend Mourinho a huge favour as the team chases UEFA Champions League qualification for next season.

United's primary issues remain in defence, but Ibrahimovic would guarantee goals even from the bench.

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