Guillermo Barros Schelotto: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Wants to End Career in Italy

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2019

Guillermo Barros Schelotto, head coach of the LA Galaxy of the MLS, watches his players during a training session as Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic runs past on February 22, 2019 in Carson, California. - From Buenos Aires to Los Angeles, without stops. From Boca to Galaxy, without safety net. Losing the final of the Libertadores against his archrival River to try to resurrect the most honored franchise in MLS history, Guillermo Barros Schelotto has never been afraid of the challenges. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty Images

Los Angeles Galaxy manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to finish his career in Italy, although he's unsure on what the next step will be for the forward. 

Ibrahimovic recently confirmed that he would not be renewing his contract with the club following the conclusion of the Major League Soccer season, having shone in his two years with the Galaxy.

Speculation has been rife regarding the 38-year-old's next club, and Schelotto told Radio Kiss Kiss the striker would be open to another spell in Serie A (h/t Daniel Lewis of Goal).

"He does not know what he will do now," the Galaxy coach said. "He is a wonderful player, but I don't know what his next step will be—perhaps he'll finish his career in Naples [with Napoli] or with Milan. I don't know where he will go, but he deserves and wants to finish his career in Italy."

When asked about the prospect of linking up with Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti, Schelotto said he thinks the veteran has attributes the Partenopei require. "They know each other well," he said. "Zlatan evidently has the characteristics that Napoli needs."

Ibrahimovic announced that he would be leaving Los Angeles in typically colourful fashion:

Although he didn't win any trophies with the Galaxy, Ibrahimovic shone during his time at the club and showed he still has an edge in front of goal, scoring 52 goals over the course of his two MLS seasons.

Los Angeles failed to qualify for the playoffs in Ibrahimovic's first year at the club, but he was able to fire the team to the postseason in 2019. However, they were eliminated by rivals Los Angeles FC in the conference semi-finals.

Per Keith Costigan of Fox Sports, the veteran forward has been let down by his defensive colleagues in pursuit of an MLS Cup triumph:

Sky Sports Football shared some of the best moments from Ibrahimovic's two seasons in the United States:

After leaving European football in 2018, it will be intriguing to see whether the forward does make a return to the continent, with Italy seemingly his most likely destination.

In Serie A, Ibrahimovic has enjoyed plenty of success, excelling in spells at Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan. With that in mind, it would be intriguing to see how he would fare in new surroundings at the San Paolo.

Italian football would be a step up in class for the striker after two years in the United States and would be a test of Ibrahimovic's evergreen goalscoring ability in what are the twilight years of his career.

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