Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared to aim a swipe in the direction of Arsene Wenger at the weekend after seeming to suggest the Arsenal manager regrets not signing the Swede more than the player himself regrets not clinching a move to north London.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker had the opportunity to join the Gunners as a teenager as Malmo touted him around some of Europe’s most prominent clubs. But Ibrahimovic famously rejected the chance to have a trial with Arsenal, and ended up signing for Ajax.
“England is a very strong league, with three or four of the best teams in Europe – but, if I had played there, I would have destroyed it, like I have everywhere else,” he said.
“Arsenal could have happened, as everybody knows – but I would not do a trial. Who do you think regrets that more, Arsene Wenger or Zlatan?
“I’m always amused when I am asked about not having tested myself in England."
The Sweden captain, however, has since responded via his official Twitter account to deny that he ever spoke to The Mirror, although Ibrahimovic did not go as far to suggest the quotes attributed to him were incorrect.
He tweeted: “I have not talked to any UK journalist or anybody at The Mirror, not the first time this happens. The Mirror is a joke!”
The Mirror have since moved to clarify their position, stating they did not claim the quotes exclusively and that they had come from a ‘reliable freelance journalist’ as part of ‘a wider TV interview’ with Ibrahimovic.