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Jose Mourinho remains hopeful over new Zlatan Ibrahimovic deal

Mourinho hopeful over new Ibrahimovic deal
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Jose Mourinho jokes that Manchester United fans will continue to hound Zlatan Ibrahimovic until he pens a new deal, saying that he is hopeful of seeing him commit.

Jose Mourinho has claimed that he never had any doubt Zlatan Ibrahimovic would make a big impact at Manchester United and remains hopeful of tying him down for a further year.

The 35-year-old proved to be the key player for the Red Devils in their EFL Cup final meeting with Southampton, finding the net twice to help his side to their first silverware of the season.

Ibrahimovic joined United as a free agent last summer following four successful years with Paris Saint-Germain, but it remains to be seen whether he will take up the option of a 12-month extension on his current terms.

After seeing the former Sweden international net his 25th and 26th goals in his maiden season in English football, Mourinho joked that supporters should beg the superstar forward to prolong his stay at Old Trafford.

"I was his manager [at Inter Milan], I know the potential, and only a silly player comes to England at 35 years old, with the successful career that Zlatan has, only a silly player comes here if he doesn't feel he can do it," he told reporters.

"Who better to know, him or me or you? To take the challenge to come to a country like England, a club like Man Utd, when he takes that decision he feels he is ready. It's his credit, not my credit. It's his merit, everything for him.

"If needed, I think United fans can go to the door of his house, and stay there all night. If needed I think they will go for sure. We all want [a new deal], we all believe he is going to stay with us for one more season."

Following his brace at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, Ibrahimovic has now scored six times in his last five domestic cup finals.

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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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