United release Ibrahimovic
Manchester United have confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be released on June 30, ending his one-year spell with the English Premiership club, Sky Sports reported yesterday.
United have declined a mutual option to extend the Swedish striker's stay at Old Trafford for a further 12 months, with Ibrahimovic expected to be out until 2018 after undergoing surgery to repair his damaged cruciate ligament last month.
The 35-year-old – who starred for United last season scoring 28 goals in 46 matches before the knee ligament injury ended his campaign prematurely.
“Premier League clubs from the 2016/17 season have submitted the lists of players they will be keeping in their squads, and the ones they will be releasing,” read the EPL statement.
“Premier League rules require all clubs to submit their retained and released lists to the Premier League by the third Saturday in May, unless the circumstances set out in Rule U.33 apply.“
Please note that players signified as a “free transfer” or released by a club on the expiry of their contract on 30 June 2017, could still remain there next season and so this list should not be seen as definitive for players leaving their club.”
Ibrahimovic, who scored twice as United beat Southampton in the League Cup final but was injured by the time they lifted the Europa League, underwent an operation on the knee ligament in the United States in early May.
Once he returns to full fitness, which is forecast for 2018, one of the two surgeons who performed the operation predicted Ibrahimovic playing on for many years to come.
“He’s so healthy, so strong, biologically, bone morphology, everything, is absolutely very healthy,”,
Freddie Fu, chairman of the department of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, told the South China Morning Post.
“He can still play for many years,” added the Hong Kong-born Fu.