Football News

Zlatan Ibrahimovic held Leeds United transfer talks before joining AC Milan

By Ben Green

Published: 22:21, 26 March 2020

The owner of Leeds United has revealed he held “concrete” talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic over a possible switch, before the Swede opted for AC Milan.

The 38-year-old returned to the San Siro in December on a free transfer after parting company with LA Galaxy, signing an initial six-month deal with the option of a further 12 months.

How close was Ibra to joining Leeds? Five things to know…

  • Ibrahimovic was available on a free transfer following his departure from LA Galaxy.
  • He has rejoined AC Milan on an initial six-month deal, with the option of a further year.
  • However, the experienced Swede was in discussions with Leeds prior to his Milan move, according to the club’s owner.
  • Andrea Radrizzani has also revealed Leeds tried to persuade Edinson Cavani to join in January.
  • Ibra has scored four goals in 10 games since returning to AC Milan.

Since re-joining Milan, Ibrahimovic has scored four goals in 10 games, including against arch-rivals Inter Milan as the Rossoneri were chasing a top six finish in Serie A, before football in most of Europe was put on hold.

But the Swedish star could have been helping Marcelo Bielsa and his side try to gain promotion from the Championship and return to the Premier League.

According to Radrizzani the club were in talks with Ibra, but the seasoned striker ultimately opted for a move back to Italy rather than the English second tier.

“I spoke with Zlatan Ibrahimovic more concretely”, Radrizzani told Sky in Italy’s Gianluca Di Marzio.

“He could have given us that decisive push but he decided to go to AC Milan. He has been very honest and transparent with me.”

But it wasn’t just one global superstar the Elland Road club were pursuing during the winter window. Radrizzani went on to admit the Whites were keeping tabs on a certain PSG marksman, Edinson Cavani.

He added: “We need to be rational and coherent with the strategy of both coach and team.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

“I did not even speak with [coach] Marcelo Bielsa about Cavani and Ibrahimovic because we never got to the stage that we could sit down and talk about them.”

Leeds were unable to land the world class forward they craved in January, but they did manage to secure the services of one elite-level forward in Jean-Kevin Augustin.

The 22-year-old has mustered only three appearances so far, with Leeds currently top of the Championship table.