Whenever Jose Mourinho’s name was linked with Manchester United, the name Zlatan Ibrahimovic hasn’t been too far behind. Since working together at Inter Milan back in 2009, the pair have struck up a close relationship with one and other, with their shared personal hatred towards Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola widely acknowledged and publicly noted.
It is no secret that Guardiola isn’t exactly high on Jose Mourinho’s Christmas card list, nor is it a surprise he isn’t too high on the Swedish striker’s. Mourinho’s rivalry with the Spaniard dates back to when the Portuguese managed Real Madrid between 2010-2013, whilst Ibrahimovic’s rivalry dates back to his brief stay at the Nou Camp in 2010, where despite scoring 21 goals for Barcelona, hd was sold a year later to AC Milan.
Their sheer hatred for Guardiola alone could already be seen as United having an upper hand before the season even kicks off. Both have points to prove, Mourinho to show the footballing world that he is truly the best manager on the planet, whilst Ibrahimovic wishes to prove that age really is just a number.
To sit here and say signing Ibrahimovic would not be gamble would be silly, yet it is a gamble worth taking. Sections of the older generation at Old Trafford have even likened him to a former United great in Eric Cantona, and it is easy to see why. Both display a certain confidence, an arrogance, if you will on the pitch that make them winners, and Mourinho knows it.
The primary negative aspect surrounding this potential signing all point to United’s youth, more specifically Marcus Rashford. The England youngster’s superb end to last season will not go unnoticed; if anything the arrival of Ibrahimovic would only help. Training and playing alongside one of the finest strikers of this generation in Ibrahimovic can only be a positive for Rashford, and one he could gain invaluable experience from.
It remains to be seen whether Mourinho wishes to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but one thing is for sure; if he is wearing the colours of Manchester United next season, we are already one up on our noisy neighbours before the season has even begun.