Manchester United have released Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic despite a remarkable debut campaign in English football, the Premier League has confirmed.
The 35-year-old joined the Old Trafford outfit on a free transfer last summer before playing a starring role for Jose Mourinho’s men, scoring 28 goals from 41 appearances to help the club win the Community Shield, the EFL Cup and the Europa League.
However, Ibrahimovic damaged his cruciate ligaments in the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht and is expected to sidelined until the turn of the year.
Manchester United had the option to extend Ibrahimovic’s stay at Old Trafford for a further 12 months but the Red Devils have opted against that decision and the Swedish centre forward will not be playing for the club next season.
The Telegraph report that the former Barcelona and PSG star would have triggered a one-year extension to his £19 million annual wages if he had played 31 Premier League games, but only reached 27 until the end of the season.
Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola claimed last month that the prolific striker is keen to extend his stay at Manchester United but the Old Trafford hierarchy have now turned their attention to sign a much younger target man with reports suggesting that a deal for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata is likely to be on the cards this summer.
Real Madrid have already rejected a bid of £52.3 million for Morata but Manchester United are hoping that an offer in excess of £60 million will be enough to land the Spain International, who scored 20 goals in all competitions this season despite restricted first team action.
Meanwhile, Ibrahimovic is now expected to end his glittering career with a final move to the Major Soccer League or China after winning an incredible total of 33 major titles in Europe.