Football

'I came like a king, leaving like a legend'

Ibrahimovic confirms PSG exit, linked to Man United and Arsenal

Zlatan Ibrahimovic declared he will leave Paris St Germain "like a legend" after confirming he will not stay with the Ligue 1 champions after this season.

The 34-year-old Swede is out of contract this summer and there has been speculation over his next destination.

A post on his Twitter account yesterday morning at least made clear that he was nearing the end of his stint with PSG.

Ibrahimovic, who has been linked with several English clubs including Manchester United and Arsenal, is expected to play his last game for PSG when they face Marseille in the French Cup final at the Stade de France on May 21, with the club completing their Ligue 1 campaign against Nantes tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

PSG boss Laurent Blanc had retained hope that his talisman would stay, but Ibrahimovic decided the time was right to move on.

"My last game tomorrow at Parc des Princes. I came like a king, left like a legend," Ibrahimovic wrote on the social media site.

PSG confirmed the decision themselves later yesterday morning via the club's official website, with statements from both player and club suggesting it was an amicable parting.

"I am very proud of these last four years. I loved every single day I spent here.

"PSG have become in these last years an internationally shining, star club and I have played a major part in this transformation," said Ibrahimovic, who has scored 46 goals in all competitions this term.

RECORD SCORER

He is also the club's all-time top scorer with 152 goals since joining from AC Milan in July 2012.

"The time has now come for me to take a new road. I want to thank my colleagues, the staff and everyone at the club," he added.

"My heart is with the fans. They have been fantastic since the day of my arrival. They are the best fans in France.

"This is not farewell, just goodbye. I came here as a king and I leave as a legend. But I will be back!"

PSG's statement suggested the club would help him move into management when he hangs up his boots.

"Following discussions between Paris St Germain and the agent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the club and player have mutually decided not to renew the contract between the two parties after June 30, 2016," the statement on www.psg.fr read.

"They also agreed that once his playing career ends, Ibra will join the management of the club in a senior position.

"Paris St Germain will forever be deeply grateful to Zlatan for the extraordinary seasons which made him the highest scorer and one of the greatest players in the history of the club.

"Ibra will be instrumental in transforming Paris St Germain into one of the biggest clubs in Europe."

Besides moving to England, Ibrahimovic could also return to AC Milan or move to Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy. - PA Sport.


Where next for Zlatan?

MANCHESTER UNITED

The emergence of 
18-year-old Marcus Rashford has been a 
god-send for under-pressure boss Louis van Gaal, but the Sweden star's proven track record could prove attractive.

ARSENAL

Danny Welbeck's knee injury, which is expected to sideline him for around nine months, means the Gunners' need for a striker like Ibrahimovic is even more pressing.

AC MILAN

Ibrahimovic remains a favourite in the red half of Milan after a hugely successful spell at the San Siro before his £15.7-million ($31m) switch to PSG.

LA GALAXY

LA Galaxy president 
Chris Klein has kept mum on speculation that Ibrahimovic could be the club's latest target, but the player had hinted that the United States is a possible option.

CHINA

If Ibrahimovic wants a very different challenge, 
the Far East would offer him just that. 
- PA Sport.

eplManchester UnitedZlatan Ibrahimovic