Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have said some derogatory things about the Premier League in his youth, but has admitted on two occasions he was close to a move to England.
At 34, he feels his opportunity has come and gone, but as his Paris Saint-Germain side square off against Chelsea in the Champions League, the Swedish striker is still more than capable of playing for the Blues or any top English club that may come calling.
Better with age
Ibrahimovic has been as consistent as he has deadly throughout his career, however few would have thought he would have kept up his goal scoring feats into his mid-thirties.
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Seemingly no matter where he plays or how old he get, he guarantees goals having scored 20+ goals in his past seven seasons and has already passed that mark this time round.
Ibrahimovic has been as dominant in the scoring charts as his PSG side have been in Ligue 1. He leads the race for the golden boot by quite a distance, sitting on 21 goals - nine goals better than the next best Michy Batshuayi.
Taking the rest of Europe's top leagues into account, he ranks joint-second in combined goals and assists on 29, level with Cristiano Ronaldo and one behind Luis Suarez.
There has been a resurgence of veteran strikers plying their trade at the top level this season. Jermain Defoe, Aritz Aduriz, Massimo Maccarone, Alexander Meier, and Dirk Kuyt are all over 33-years-old, and all in double figures in their respective leagues. Age is no barrier to Zlatan.
Where to next?
Ibrahimovic is yet to pen a new deal with PSG, and with the striker out of contract in the summer, a move away from Paris Saint-Germain looks on the cards. Though he has reiterated his happiness in France it looks likely he will leave at the end of the season.
Having won all there is to win in France, he may be looking for a new challenge. Talk of the MLS is understandable and a likely option for the 34-year-old to see out the rest of his career.
An increasing popular option seems to be China. Perhaps he could become the latest face of the Asian powerhouse’s mega-money transfer revolution; one which has already claimed big names such as Ramires, Jackson Martinez and Alex Teixeira in the last month. When quizzed on a possible move he teasingly replied "you never know".
But he is still capable of competing at the highest level, which includes the Premier League. His agent certainly thinks so and hinted that England is an option.
"I would like to see him in the Premier League. I think it's a game that is made for him with his strength. His ability, his technique, the stadiums with fantastic atmosphere and how football is
lived," Mino Raiola said.
Any move for the Swedish striker wouldn’t be a romantic gesture but a concerted effort to recruit a world class player capable of having a profound impact on their season. And given his competitive nature there is likely to be some interest. Every Premier League club that can match his ambition and his wages should look towards Ibrahimovic in the summer.
Which Premier League clubs should look to sign Ibrahimovic? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!
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