Manchester United fans are currently drooling at the prospect of Zlatan Ibrahimovic signing.
The Swede is rumoured to be close to signing a one-year deal with the Premier League giants in what would truly mark Jose Mourinho’s arrival.
It’s certainly exciting times to be a United fan. First, they appointed a world-class manager capable of challenging Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Now they’re on the brink of signing a player who scored 52 goals last season.
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But, should the Red Devils complete the signing, they might have to wait to see Ibrahimovic in action. And not just because the 34-year-old is away with Sweden at the European Championship.
In an interview with Le Monde, the brash striker admitted he would be “very interested” in representing Sweden at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The problem for United is that the 2016-17 Premier League season is said to begin on August 13, but the Olympics won’t conclude until August 21.
The final of the football tournament is on August 20. In the event that Sweden make it that far, Ibrahimovic will certainly miss a handful of games.
When asked if Rio would be his first Olympics, Ibrahimovic replied:
“Yes, I am very interested. It wouldn’t be bad. But the same as with the Euros, we will see what happens. There are lots of things that I need to think about at the moment.”
Transcription by Get French Football News.
Is it realistic?
Now, it’s easy to imagine Ibrahimovic going back on his word. He’s just completed a full season for Paris Saint-Germain in which he made 51 appearances.
At 34, can his body realistically go through the rigours of a European Championship and Olympic Games? Only Ibrahimovic would say yes.
And if United agree to sign him, they certainly will ask him to reconsider about representing his country at the Olympics.
If he does play, the earliest he will return to domestic action is August 10, the date of Sweden’s final group game.
He would count as one of the three players over 23 allowed in the squad but, to reiterate, we can’t actually imagine him going to Brazil.
Gold medals don't mean much
Just how desperate is he to get his hands on a gold medal? Not much, to be honest.
He continued: “Zlatan means ‘gold’ in ex-Yugoslavia. It is my brand. And it is the principal colour that we have chosen for my clothing brand. It is a reference to my name and a colour that I like.
“But to possess gold, that is not my aim. That adds nothing. I think it is people who should be golden, not objects.”