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Manchester United 'set to release Zlatan Ibrahimovic' - reports Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Friday, 09 June 2017 08:36

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to leave Manchester United with the Old Trafford club opting against extending the injured former Sweden forward's contract, according to various media sources in the UK.

Ibrahimovic is expected to miss the first five months of the season recovering from knee surgery, and with no prospect of him being back to full fitness until January, Jose Mourinho has apparently agreed with the club's board that paying £300,000-a-week to renew the player's contract makes no financial sense.
It is a tough blow for Ibrahimovic, who was a resounding success in his first and perhaps only season in the Premier League.
The former Paris St Germain, Barcelona and Juventus striker scored a 28 goals in 46 appearances before the injury ended his season prematurely.

The 35-year-old suffered knee ligament damage in the Europa League quarter-final with Anderlecht on April 20 that required surgery in May in the US.
His one-year contract expires on June 30 with United set to omit Ibrahimovic when the Premier League announce United's list of retained players for the 2017/18 season that is published at 9am (BST) on Friday morning.

Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola said last month he did now know if his client would be back at United as he looks to resume his career after he recovers from injury.

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  • Juan Mata: There is no game like Liverpool v Manchester United

    Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has revealed that no other game in the Premier League calendar compares to Liverpool against Manchester United.

    The two bitter rivals go head-to-head on Saturday, with the unbeaten United sitting joint top of the table while Liverpool are five places back in seventh.

    Liverpool have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions and will hope to reignite their season with a victory in front of their own fans.

    Mata has fond memories of Anfield, having scored twice in a 2-1 win during the 2014/15 season – including a stunning scissor kick.
    And the midfielder has revealed he cannot wait for kick off on Saturday lunchtime.

    When asked if the fixture is United’s biggest game of the season, he told Sky Sports: "I believe so, since I came here I always knew the rivalry was big over the years. Everyone in the training ground, fans in the street, they remind you that Liverpool is the game.

    "There is no game like this. Through the history there have been great games, big rivalries, and it is a special game to play in, and we feel very lucky to have the chance to play in these games.

    "The view from Spain I think is that all of the big Premier League games are viewed similarly. Once you are in England you realise United v Liverpool stands out.
    "I have pretty good memories from our games against Liverpool. Every United supporter even now, after a few years, remind me of that goal. When you play for United and score at Anfield and win the game, it stays in peoples' minds."

    The Anfield crowd are sure to provide United with a hostile atmosphere, but Mata is adamant his side can quieten them down if they go into the game with the right attitude.

    "It's tough. It's a tough atmosphere. Obviously, the stadium is full of supporters wanting their team to go over us and win. That's what makes football special. Not speaking about violence at all, but about the atmosphere. You have to have personality to play in these games,” he added.

    "If we manage to impose ourselves in the game to control the emotions from the crowd, and play good football, I think we have a chance to win."

  • Parker: Mourinho has got United right in one season, the same can’t be said of Klopp and Liverpool

    Paul Parker has been impressed with Manchester United’s improvement under Jose Mourinho and expects the Old Trafford club to win their fixture against Liverpool this weekend.

    I think Manchester United will beat Liverpool this weekend. The match represents United’s biggest test this season. However, United are a different proposition to last year. Mourinho’s men have absorbed everything that has been thrown at them. Unlike last season, Mourinho will go there and look for more than a point.

    Mourinho’s default is to be conservative, particularly in away games, so don’t expect swashbuckling attacking play. However, they will actually try to do more with the ball than they did at Anfield last season, when they were more than content to leave Liverpool monopolise possession. Mourinho has more trust in *his* team now. Last season he went there looking not to lose and served up one of the worst ever Premier League games. United started well but then it was 80 minutes of cold custard.

    This time United have a strong backbone - they look solid, they have improved. If you look at Liverpool, they have failed to address the glaring issues from last year. Yes, they signed Mohamed Salah but they still lack a goalkeeper and the defence remains ramshackle. Their centre-halves simply aren’t good enough.

    WHERE KLOPP HAS FAILED, MOURINHO HAS SUCCEEDED

    Both sides had huge issues last season. However, United addressed theirs, while Liverpool have let them fester. United have signed well (more on that below) but Mourinho has also improved the players he inherited, take for example Marouane Fellaini. Klopp has neither improved defensive players at his disposal nor signed better players to address their issues.
    Defensively, the Reds look like they have gone backwards and look more porous than they were back under Brendan Rodgers. At least his side were great going forward; defensively they might not have survived in the second division and they appear to have gotten worse.

    "Mourinho has got Manchester United right in one season but Liverpool still look all at sea after two years into Klopp’s tenure. "
    The pressure will eventually start to ramp up on Klopp – he will definitely get to the end of the season, but if there are no signs of improvement between now and then he might be in trouble. It is pretty poor that they did not have a back-up plan when they missed out on Virgil van Dijk. They identified the problem and did not solve it.

    Every championship-winning team has a standout goalkeeper and back four. Liverpool have neither. Yes, they have Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah but when Liverpool dominated the league, it was because of their defence. Not anymore. Klopp brought in a goalkeeper (Loris Karius) that is no better than the one they already had (Simon Mignolet).

    The defence have no trust in Mignolet. You need a keeper with a personality and Simon Mignolet does not have one; he lacks the arrogance that all greats have. Liverpool look worried at set-piece situations and his concentration levels are not good enough.

    MATIC THE KEY TO UNITED TRANSFORMATION

    Mourinho has Romelu Lukaku realising how good he is. And he compares very favourably to Ibrahimovic, the Swede scored great goals for United but was he a great goalscorer? Lukaku has the makings of a great goalscorer and suits them perfectly. He has been in the right place at the right time and has that hunger to play.
    However, the player who has made the real difference to United is Nemanja Matic. He has been a very shrewd signing, who gives United perfect balance. He is a big man but is certainly more brains than brawn, with smart passing and cute interceptions. There is no doubt that he has freed Paul Pogba, too. Pogba no longer feels he has to take on the world to justify his price. Matic has made the rest of the team look and feel better.

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic must not rush Manchester United return - surgeon

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been warned not to rush his Manchester United return by surgeon Freddie Fu Ho-keung, who operated on his knee in May.

    Ibrahimovic has not played since suffering a career-threatening knee ligament injury in United's Europa League quarter-final second leg match against Anderlecht at Old Trafford in April.

    "He (Zlatan) is very strong but soccer is still a combative sport. As a doctor, of course I want to see him return as slow as possible, only when he is fully fit for the game," Fu told the South China Morning Post.

    "There have been many cases of a player returning prematurely with bad consequences."
    United manager Jose Mourinho is keen on leaving the 35-year-old striker out of first-team plans until January though he included him in the squad for the Champions League group stage which runs from September to December.

    "I have no worry about his injury as it always takes time to fully recover," Fu added.

    "In fact the EPL (Premier League) has just started and I am sure Manchester United would not need the player urgently for any crucial game either in the league or European competitions."

    Ibrahimovic finished as the club's top scorer last season with 28 goals in 46 appearances.

  • Scan reveals no serious injury for Romelu Lukaku who remains a doubt for Belgium

    Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has been cleared of serious injury after having his ankle scanned while on international duty with Belgium.

    Lukaku needed to be checked after being hurt in United's 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday, in which he scored his 11th goal since joining the club from Everton in the summer.

    The 24-year-old will now be put on a special training programme in the hope of proving his fitness for Belgium's World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia on Saturday and Cyprus on Tuesday.

    A statement from the Belgian football association, the KBVB, read: "Romelu Lukaku underwent an MRI scan but no fracture or structural damage has been diagnosed.
    "The next days he will follow an individual training program.

    "It is however too early to state that he won't be match fit for the Bosnia and/or Cyprus game."

    News the injury is not serious will be a relief to United ahead of their Premier League trip to Liverpool on October 14.

    Belgium, who have already qualified for Russia 2018, are without captain Vincent Kompany for their upcoming fixtures. The Manchester City defender, who has not played since the last international break due to a calf injury, was called up for assessment but has now returned to his club to continue his recovery.

  • Manchester United preparing £155m bid for Paulo Dybala – report

    Manchester United are preparing a bid of £155million for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala according to a report.

    The Mirror say that whilst United know Barcelona are interested in Dybala, and are his preferred destination, they will try to sign him next summer with a fee of £155m likely to be enough to persuade Juventus to sell.

    Dybala has started the season in fine form with ten goals in just six Serie A games.
    Recently general manager Beppe Marotta admitted the club would be powerless if Dybala decided he wanted to leave, even though the forward has no release clause.

    The Mirror’s report says that one factor in United’s favour is the fact that executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has a good relationship with Marotta and the United chief has told Dybala’s management they would be interested in signing the forward.
    In the summer of 2016 United re-signed Paul Pogba from Juventus in what was then a world-record fee of £89million.

    In the past Pogba has been very vocal in his praise for Dybala saying “I call Dybala 'Square R2'. That's the combination you press on PlayStation to do a turn and shot. He always scores like that.

    “Has he surprised me? No, because I always said he was a phenomenon. To do what he has done, playing for Juve, is something phenomenal."

    OUR VIEW

    Everything we've heard about this Dybala story so far has been that he wants to go to Barcelona.

    Having failed to sign Philippe Coutinho you'd imagine Barcelona could afford him.
    Dybala has admitted in the past that he and Lionel Messi haven't had 'a great relationship' but that's not to say they couldn't form one.

    A player of his calibre could easy fit into any team in the world, it may be a straight decision for Dybala as to whether he's prefer Barcelona or United.

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