Zlatan Ibrahimovic told former manager Carlo Ancelotti that only three players in world football can make the difference: himself, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
As documented by the Daily Mail, Carlo Ancelotti, stating in his new book on management, has revealed that he previously asked the enigmatic Swede striker for his thoughts on Hernan Crespo.
It appears, though, that the 34-year-old only recognises Ronaldo and Messi as players at a similar level to him. Ibrahimovic, of course, has been heavily linked with a move to Premier League outfit Manchester United.
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It has been well documented that the veteran has never played in England's elite division, but it appears that he could finally be set to move to the country ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.
Indeed, a move to Old Trafford would see Ibrahimovic reunited with Jose Mourinho, who looks set to be named Louis van Gaal's successor at the club in the immediate future.
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If Ibrahimovic arrives on English soil this summer then it's safe to say that the Premier League will be given the chance to embrace one of the most unpredictable characters the game has ever seen. Ancelotti's comments on the Swede only confirms that notion.
Ancelotti reveals all
Here's what Ancelotti said about Ibrahimovic:
"Subtlety is not Zlatan's strongest suit. One day on the training ground, Ibra thought that one of the young players had not given his best to the session.
"At the end of training Ibra called this guy over and said, 'Now, you have to go home and write in your diary that you trained with Zlatan today, because I think it could be the last time that you do.'
"Maybe he's not so diplomatic, but he's a winner. The biggest problem I had with him was on the training ground.
"Even at the training sessions he didn't want to lose anything — ever. He's always fighting, always 100 per cent. He can only be one way, direct.
"If he doesn't like something, he's going to tell you. With the young players he could be too strong, so I told him that he had to take care of them because he was an example for them. I explained that a bit of subtlety was required, as it is not always effective to speak too strongly with the young.
"He was never afraid to speak the truth to anyone, even me. On one occasion we were speaking about Hernan Crespo who was, in my opinion, an outstanding striker. When I asked Ibra what he thought, he said, 'Yes, he's a striker, but he cannot make the difference. There are only three players who make the difference: Ibrahimovic, Messi and Ronaldo.'"
Right man for United?
But is Zlatan the right man to take United forward? In Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, Manchester United have two of the most exciting young attackers in Europe at their disposal, but perhaps the addition of Ibrahimovic could help them in the pursuit of long-term success.
Both players are by no means the finished article at this stage and they could learn a great deal by playing alongside one of the world's greatest forwards. Ibrahimovic will be a short term solution for the club, but could provide them with something special.
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