Former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said he would return to Serie A if Napoli, Inter or Bologna were interested in signing him.
The Swedish striker already has an illustrious record in Italy and revealed that he would want to return, but only for the right club.
Ibrahimovic to make Serie A return? Five things to know…
- Ibrahimovic joined Juventus in 2004 and subsequently won Serie A Foreign Player of the Year in 2005.
- He left Juventus for Inter following their relegation to Serie B…
- …where he won three Scudettos and established himself as one of the world’s best.
- Following a spell in Spain, he joined AC Milan in 2010.
- In his only permanent season, he scored 28 goals in 32 games.
Ibrahimovic has been plying his trade in LA for Galaxy for a year and a half now since leaving Old Trafford, a time period which has seen him score 52 goals in just 56 games. He will be out of contract at the end of the year and able to sign for another club.
The Swedish striker has remarkable ability and self-belief to match. In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, he revealed that he feels he could still hack it in Italy.
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.”
It wasn’t just Napoli who interested Zlatan. He also revealed an admiration for Inter boss Antonio Conte.
He added: “I don’t know Conte personally, but everyone says he gives 500 per cent every single day. In that, we are the same, so I imagine we’d get along very well. We both believe that the spirit of sacrifice is the only path to success.
“Inter really have a great coup in getting Conte. Juve remain the favourites, but the Nerazzurri are certainly growing. Napoli need something more and everyone else is further behind.
“The big clubs are investing now and I do not change my belief that Serie A, especially for a striker, remains the reference point and the most difficult league in the world.”
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It’s unsurprising that Napoli and Inter, two of Europe’s biggest clubs, are an attractive prospect to a player like Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, Bologna may seem like an odd choice.
It is the manager Sinisa Mihajlovic who interests Zlatan. Mihajlovic and Ibrahimovic worked together at Inter and the Swedish striker accredits his free-kick ability to the Serbian, who was an assistant coach when the two crossed paths.
The coach is currently battling leukaemia and Ibrahimovic says he wants to help his old friend on the pitch.
He said: “Mihajlovic is a friend, so if I were to choose Bologna, it’d be just for him. We have spoken recently. He told me: ‘Zlatan, here the others would run for you. All you need to do is stay up there and put the ball in the net.’
“I thank him, but it’s probably unlikely to happen. If I change my mind, then I’ll call him straight away, especially because I could still get 20 goals in Serie A.”