Manchester United face the prospect of missing out on Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the striker held secret talks with Bayern Munich, reports Sport Bild.
The 34-year-old is currently on international duty with Sweden but has long been tipped to sign for the Red Devils following the conclusion of Euro 2016. Indeed, it was only today that Sky Sports published a story claiming that he will undergo a medical at Old Trafford once Sweden's involvement in the tournament is over.
However, Bayern Munich are proving to be a fly in Jose Mourinho's ointment and have apparently opened talks with the former Paris Saint-Germain striker over a 12-month contract. Carlo Ancelotti, in particular, is believed to be pushing hard for the deal.
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And there is every reason to believe that Ibrahimovic will choose the Bundesliga champions over Manchester United. For one, Bayern Munich are almost guaranteed to win the German league next season, giving Ibrahimovic the chance to finish top in a sixth different country and win his 10th title in his last 11 seasons.
Second, Bayern Munich are not only in the pot for next season's Champions League but are amongst the favourites to win it. Ibrahimovic knows that winning Europe's elite contest is the one thing missing from his illustrious CV and also knows he won't be able to fill it at Old Trafford next season.
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The one thing pulling Ibrahimovic towards Manchester United is believed to be Mourinho, who recently took over from Louis van Gaal. The pair formed a strong bond when they were together at Inter Milan and a glorious partnership looked set in stone.
However, Ancelotti also has a close relationship with Ibrahimovic after spending one season together at Parc des Princes before the Italian left for Real Madrid. So impressed was Ancelotti that upon leaving he made an immediate attempt to bring Ibrahimovic with him to the Bernabeu.
One massive problem for Bayern Munich will be the continued presence of Robert Lewandowski up front. The Poland international is the undoubted first-choice striker at the Allianz Arena and neither he or Ibrahimovic would take kindly to playing second fiddle.
Manchester United, meanwhile, can guarantee a starting spot in the team, potentially making up for their lack of Champions League football.
Some fans have taken Bayern's reported interest in Ibrahimovic to mean Lewandowski is leaving with Real Madrid reportedly interested. Some fans, however, believe Manchester United could be within a chance of signing him.
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