MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 14:45:24

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 'I offered to play for free at Manchester United'

Zlatan: 'I offered to play for free at Man Utd'
© Reuters
Former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic reveals that he offered to play for free at Old Trafford following his return from a serious knee injury.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed that he offered to play for free at Manchester United following his return from a knee injury.

Ibrahimovic quickly became a fan favourite at Old Trafford following his 2016 arrival from Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 28 goals across all competitions before his season was cut short by a serious cruciate knee ligament injury in April 2017.

There was speculation at the time that the former Sweden international could be forced into retirement as a result of the injury, but United opted to re-sign him on a one-year deal and he made his comeback significantly ahead of schedule in November 2017.

However, the 36-year-old played just seven more games for United before being released to enable him to join Los Angeles Galaxy in March of this year, and he has now revealed that he turned down opportunities to play as he no longer thought that he could give his best.

"The situation was not about having a contract and earning money - it was the opposite. I said, 'I don't want a salary, you keep it'," Ibrahimovic told BBC Sport.

"When I was ready, I said to myself, 'I am not there'. They had a Zlatan before. After, I was not ready to be that Zlatan. I was selected in many of the games but I told the coach: 'Listen, I am not ready. I don't want to disappoint you.

"'The respect I have for my teammates and the coach. Select someone else who can do the job better'. I stood up and did it, even if I am Zlatan."

Ibrahimovic has scored 11 goals in just 14 MLS appearances since joining LA Galaxy.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City97202632323
2Liverpool97201631323
3Chelsea96302071321
4Arsenal970222111121
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs9702167921
6Bournemouth95221612417
7Watford95131312116
8Everton94321512315
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves943298115
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231516-114
11Leicester CityLeicester94051515012
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton93241013-311
13Burnley92251017-78
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham9216814-67
15Crystal Palace9216511-67
16Southampton9135614-86
17Cardiff CityCardiff9126819-115
18Fulham91261125-145
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9036418-143
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9027614-82

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