AC Milan sporting director Leonardo has said the club will not re-sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Los Angeles Galaxy this winter, although a move for Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas is still on the cards.
Ibrahimovic recently finished his first season in Major League Soccer, but Leonardo told Sky Italy (h/t Goal's Kieran Francis) on Sunday that there's no chance they'll sign him in January: "Ibrahimovic? No he won't arrive. He always said that if L.A. accepted his demands, that he would stay there. He won't be arriving here. It would've been nice, but it isn't possible."
Six-and-a-half years have passed since Ibrahimovic, 37, left the San Siro, where he won the Scudetto with Milan in 2011.
Leonardo suggested a move for Chelsea misfit Fabregas could be on the cards still, however: "We are studying the possibilities [regarding Fabregas]. We are evaluating the conditions."
Fabregas would likely be welcome at the San Siro in January given the recent injury crisis that's hit manager Gennaro Gattuso's midfield.
Injuries to Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura have left Gattuso light on midfield options of late, with the duo not set to return to fitness until February and August, respectively, per Transfermarkt.
Despite the potential of a move for Fabregas, the update on the likelihood of an Ibrahimovic return will be disappointing to fans.
Gonzalo Higuain has scored seven times in 15 appearances for the Rossoneri since joining on loan from Juventus in the summer and could have made for a formidable strike partner for the Swede, who was back to scoring sensational strikes in MLS this past season:
But Ibrahimovic has a contract at the StubHub Center until December 2019, and it appears he'll at least remain in Los Angeles to see that out before he seeks another move.
His status as a four-time Serie A champion may have led the Rossoneri to hope his winning mentality would rub off on their players, who are fourth in Serie A.
The UEFA Champions League recently celebrated the evergreen talents of one of modern football's great talents:
Fabregas, 31, appears more attainable this winter. He only made his first Premier League start under Maurizio Sarri in Wednesday's defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers and doesn't appear to feature highly in the Italian's plans.
The ex-Barcelona playmaker joined Chelsea in August 2014, but Sarri has used the Spaniard mainly in cup competitions, and his exit looks likely with his contract due to expire in June.