Zlatan Ibrahimovic could have been the most iconic of acquisitions of Manchester City’s mega-rich owners when he was presented with the opportunity to sign for the club following a forgettable spell with Barcelona.
The riches of Manchester City, however, were resisted by Ibrahimovic in order to secure a return transfer to the San Siro - this time with AC Milan rather than Inter. As the player has documented himself, this decision was partly based on prestige.
Manchester City, claimed Ibrahimovic, lacked the allure of an established European superpower like Milan with success at that point yet to have arrived at the Etihad Stadium. But, as explained by ghost-writer of Ibrahimovic’s acclaimed autobiography, the negative perception of Ibrahimovic in England meant a transfer to Manchester was not considered.
“Now I think he will stay in PSG. But I know, of course, when he was at Barcelona he had two choices - Manchester City and Milan. But he wanted to come back to Italy,” David Lagercrantz told GiveMeSport.
“Back in those days [in England] he was said to be overrated - that was the most common thing said. He didn’t want to go to Britain.”
Ibrahimovic went on to score 56 times in 85 appearances during his time with Milan, winning the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2011. The Sweden captain went on to secure a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain where he has inspired the club to successive Ligue 1 titles.