Football News

De Laurentiis: Ibrahimovic to Napoli deal has been discussed for “a few months”

By Steve Jennings

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejoined AC Milan

Published: 12:39, 24 October 2019

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed he is interested in bringing Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to Italy.

Ibrahimovic recently talked up a possible return to Serie A, where he has previously spent time with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus.

Could Ibrahimovic really join Napoli? Five things to know…

  • Ibrahimovic has hinted he is keen on a return to Italy when he leaves LA Galaxy.
  • His contract expires at the end of the current MLS season.
  • Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed talks with Ibrahimovic have taken place.
  • However, the Serie A side already have Dries Mertens, Arkadiusz Milik and Fernando Llorente up front.
  • Ibrahimovic has just turned 38 and has retired from international football.

The Swede’s contract with La Galaxy expires at the end of the current MLS season, and he will be allowed to discuss terms with other clubs in December.

And De Laurentiis says he has been speaking to Ibrahimovic about a possible move to Napoli for a “few months”, insisting there is a genuine chance of a deal coming to fruition.

“[Ibrahimovic] is a friend, I met him in Los Angeles not as a footballer but as a normal person because we were in the same hotel,” said De Laurentiis.

“I invited him over for dinner with his wife and kids and we had an amazing time. It would be my wish to see him in Napoli colours, it’s more than a suggestion and it depends on him.

“It’s been talked about for a few months now.”

Ibrahimovic has scored 52 goals in 57 appearances for LA Galaxy since joining the club in 2018.

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“It’d be fantastic to replicate Maradona”

Not only did Ibrahimovic suggest he could end up back in Italy; he specifically name-checked Napoli as a potential destination.

He said: “I appreciated the recent documentary about Diego Maradona and nobody was like him. Seeing the love that the city had for him, it makes me feel like I’d enjoy an experience at Napoli: it’d be fantastic to replicate what Diego did there.

“I’m not saying I will go there, as the final decision depends on many aspects, that that is a fanbase that creates enthusiasm. With me in the team, the San Paolo would be packed every Sunday. Plus there’s Carlo Ancelotti, one of the greats.”

Napoli signed a player of Ibrahimovic’s profile, Fernando Llorente, in the summer, but Ibrahimovic would undeniably bring a commercial boost to the club if he were to join.

There may also be interest from other Serie A clubs. AC Milan could certainly do with a player of Ibrahimovic’s quality among their ranks.