English Premiership

Zlatan wage demands scuppered United return - report

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Getty Images)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United insiders have revealed the Old Trafford outfit dropped their pursuit of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to excessive wage demands.

The former Red Devils striker has reportedly agreed to join AC Milan for the third time during a star-studded career, as he is now a free agent since ending a two-season spell at MLS side LA Galaxy last month.

Ibrahimovic, 38, certainly had no shortage of interest despite his advancing years, with his former bosses at United asking after his situation.

It is understood manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was open to the idea of Ibrahimovic returning to the Theatre of Dreams in a bid to beef up his shot-shy attack.

The super Swede had two seasons at the Theatre of Dreams playing under former manager Jose Mourinho, scoring an impressive 29 goals in just 53 appearances between 2016-18.

His late goal helped United secure the Carabao Cup in a 3-2 win over Southampton at Wembley in 2017, cementing his cult-like status with the club's followers.

Ibrahimovic, however, suffered a severe knee injury a couple of months later playing against Belgian side Anderlecht in the Europa League, ruling him out for seven months.

The former Paris Saint-Germain forward was able to return but came to a mutual decision with United not to extend his deal and ultimately follow his dream of playing in the United States.

The veteran loved his time in England, and, at one point, the stage appeared to be set for him making a triumphant return, with early talks proving positive.

Club sources, though, have hinted Ibra wanted £1m-per-month in wages for the rest of the season, proving too much even for their resources.

United are desperate to recruit a top-class striker in the upcoming January window, with Red Bull Salzburg's £80m-rated starlet Erling Haaland still very much in their sights.

The 19-year-old hotshot has already scored 15 goals in 13 appearances in the Austrian Bundesliga, while he has grabbed eight in the Champions League.

- TeamTalk Media

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