Zlatan Ibrahimovic Says He Would Return to PSG as Manager

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2018

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 28:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy during the Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS match against Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center on October 28, 2018 in Carson, California.  The Houston Dynamo won the match 3-2 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is only interested in a return to former club Paris Saint-Germain if he were to assume the manager's role. The 37-year-old LA Galaxy striker revealed Les Parisiens want him back, but he said it would take special circumstances to make it happen.

Ibrahimovic spoke to French publication L'Equipe (h/t MailOnline's James Ayles):

"At PSG, they want me to work for the club. If I come back to PSG, it's to be the boss. I cannot come for anything else. The only way to make me come, that will be it."

"There are no other possible positions for me. But it's not for now, I'm an active player and I still want to play. When I choose what I want to do, I will inform the world."

Ibrahimovic is open to a return to Europe, with former club AC Milan mooted as one possible destination.
Ibrahimovic is open to a return to Europe, with former club AC Milan mooted as one possible destination.AFP/Getty Images

Ibrahimovic also discussed a possible move back to Europe when the Major League Soccer season finishes, but he's keeping his options open:

"I do not know what I'm going to do. I know that many European clubs are interested, but I am happy here, I love my life, my family too. And I need a challenge, a reason to keep playing."

"I do not want to come to a club just because I'm Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I want to arrive and make a difference. That's what I've always done, everywhere."

One potential destination for Ibrahimovic is a second spell with another former club, AC Milan. The Swedish forward's agent, Mino Raiola, told Rai Sport (h/t Football-Italia) his client has an "excellent" relationship with Milan's new directors.

There had been reports former Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger would take over at Milan, rumours the Frenchman later dubbed "fake news" during an appearance on beIN Sports (h/t ESPN FC's Mattias Karen).

Ibrahimovic doesn't think Wenger would fancy the challenge of resurrecting the Rossoneri, per L'Equipe (h/t Football-Italia).

Of all the choices available to Ibrahimovic, a return to PSG would likely make the most headlines. He won a quartet of Ligue 1 titles and scored 156 goals during his decorated tenure with the club from the French capital.

Ibrahimovic enjoyed major success in Paris.
Ibrahimovic enjoyed major success in Paris.Thibault Camus/Associated Press

His goalscoring record was quickly overtaken by Edinson Cavani, but Ibrahimovic remains a figure most associate as the catalyst for the early validation and success of the project put into place by PSG's mega-rich Qatari owners in 2011.

Ibrahimovic joined the club a year later and immediately helped then-manager Carlo Ancelotti win silverware.

Since leaving Paris, Ibrahimovic helped inspire Manchester United to an EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League double during the 2016/17 campaign. He swapped Old Trafford for Los Angeles earlier this year and has continued to be prolific in front of goal.

Ibrahimovic's form in MLS has seen him make an impact similar to a former United team-mate:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

BREAKING: @WayneRooney and @Ibra_official on shortlist for MLS MVP Award. #SSN https://t.co/Jch4xvODky

While there's no doubt he remains a top striker, it's easy to have doubts about how Ibrahimovic might fare as a manager. Always outspoken, his brash demeanour may rub some players the wrong way.

Clashes with high-priced stars wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility either.

However, as an experienced and serial winner who has performed for most of Europe's top clubs, Ibrahimovic would likely command the respect of many. He's also worked with some of the biggest names in management, including Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Massimiliano Allegri.

Few have been better placed to absorb what it takes to build a successful team.