Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future has to be away from Paris Saint-Germain

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Football News

It would be selfish of Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to ask Zlatan Ibrahimovic to stay at the Parc des Princes any longer. Barring the Champions League and world domination, there is nothing left for the two to achieve together.

For some time, the Swede's future in Paris has been thrown into question, but it seems the 34-year-old forward has made his mind up. Wherever he will be, it won't be with the Parisians.

A glamorous career has seen him wear the colours of AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Juventus and Ajax - to name the European giants whose pitches the goal machine has graced - along with his first club, Malmo.


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But, for the last four years he has been blessed with continuous success, winning the league in each of his seasons with the club - and now it's time for the Sweden international to enter the next, if not the final, chapter of his career.

Yes, you would be right to question how Ibrahimovic has reached this record of four league titles, when he hasn't even reached the final of his fourth season with PSG - with eight games remaining of the Ligue 1 campaign. But that is the trouble with French football of late. It has become an uncompetitive spectacle that doesn't entertain - and that is why it is time for the former Barcelona man to leave.

The egotistical character that we know Ibrahimovic can be, tells us how great a player he is on a regular basis. In fact, there have been a few occasions of late that have provoked such a celebration as his goal that all-but confirmed PSG's progression into the next round of the Champions League did - giving the Parisians a 4-2 aggregate lead, with a goal against Chelsea.

And this is exactly the argument for why Ibrahimovic has to leave PSG. He has yet to compete in Europe's two toughest leagues - the Premier League and Bundesliga - although he did grace La Liga for a few years.

For him to stake his claim as one of the best, he needs to venture beyond Ligue 1, Serie A and La Liga, into new and unknown territory. Whether that be in England or Germany. Neither country will offer him easy pickings for goals - like the four he bagged away to Troyes at the weekend to secure PSG's fourth consecutive title.

As the saying goes: "But can he do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?" For Ibrahimovic to end his career in style, he needs to be playing against the toughest opposition on a regular basis.

Playing AS Monaco, Lyon and Marseille once in a while isn't the best way to test your talents against the most prolific. Heading across to Germany, or over the channel to England is the way to do it.

And if you feel Ibrahimovic faces a bigger test than is being made out. Let the stats inform you. The longest the Swede went without a goal for PSG was four games, against Lyon in the French Super Cup, away to Monaco in Ligue 1, at home to former club Malmo in the Champions League, and away to Reims in Ligue 1.

But that run without a goal at the start of the campaign was ended with a run of six goals in five games - either side of Sweden's European Championship qualifiers.

Six goals in six games in December, before a run of seven in five at the end of January put PSG well on their way to a comfortable Ligue 1 title. But for his high tally, only his goals at home to Marseille and away to Bastia have been the deciding strikes to have made the difference between defeat and victory. The rest PSG have managed themselves, without having to rely on goals from Ibrahimovic.

It suggests that his energetic celebrations against Chelsea means he has some questions to answer in England- having had a poor record against English teams until recently. And with his future in question, and rumours of West Ham being interested in the 6ft 5in striker, it wouldn't be bad for the next step in Zlatan's career to be at the iconic Olympic Stadium - West Ham's new home next season.

Ligue 1's top scorer, with 27 goals, can settle any doubters of his ability to maintain his menacing form in front of goal in the Premier League by making the move to England in the summer. Does such a talent want to waste another season in Ligue 1 with PSG, knowing he will collect another title at the end, or even 'half way through', the campaign? Or does he want to be like the other top athletes - testing himself against the best?

Sooner or later PSG will need to come to terms with life after Ibrahimovic, and there will be no better time than now. They are coasting in the league, while they are also venturing further in the Champions League. With their financial power, they are certainly able to bring in a younger goal machine, but, is Al-Khelaifi ready to move on?

It would be sad to see Ibrahimovic end his career in Paris, and equally as sad to see one of the world's best talents not grace the best league in the world. The Sweden forward has questions about his future for a reason - not because a big-money move to China could be calling - but, because to go down in history as one of the best, there is more for him to accomplish to affirm football fans' regard of him alongside the elite.

Who knows, perhaps if Manchester City slip up like their local neighbours, United, West Ham will be able to nab a Champions League spot and persuade Ibrahimovic to east London. It would be fantastic for not only Hammers fans and the Premier League, but also for the Swede too.

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Premier League
Paris Saint-Germain
Ligue 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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