When Jose Mourinho was confirmed as the new manager of Manchester United in May, the chances of Zlatan Ibrahimovic deciding on Old Trafford as his next destination increased dramatically.
The Swedish striker has made no secret of his admiration for Mourinho over the past few years.
The two men, both strong characters, struck up a fantastic working relationship, which developed into a friendship, at Inter Milan and they’ve remained in close contact ever since.
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Mourinho knows what makes Zlatan tick and has now revealed what he told the 34-year-old to convince him to join the Red Devils.
Instead of praising him and convincing the striker he was capable of scoring goals in the Premier League despite his age, Mourinho decided to tease him instead.
Mourinho teased Zlatan into signing for United
“Let’s be honest, he’s very rich,” Mourinho is quoted as saying by the Mirror. “He’s made money all his career, he’s won a lot of things, so you only come to the most difficult championship in the world if you feel you can do it.
“If you don’t feel you can do it, you go to America, China — or stay in the French League for one more season.
"So the guy wanted this one more challenge and I expect he's going to be very good for us.
“When I told him I'd won in England, Spain and Italy and he hadn’t, that he’d done Spain, Italy and France, he thought, 'Ah, I want to go. I want to win every one'.
"So his motivation is high.”
Mourinho: Zlatan's age is no issue
Mourinho also believes that Zlatan’s age is not an issue, due to the condition he’s kept himself in.
“I know him very well. I always think there's our age in ID terms but then there's our real age because, for me, the real age is not the age on your ID,” the United boss added. “That's just a date when you were born.
“The real age, the real ID, is your body, your brain, your attitude and this guy is young, his body is amazing.
“The way he grew up playing the sports he did before football, especially martial arts, he was prepared in terms of his muscles, and the mental point of view in a different way to the traditional football player, in his DNA, his motivation.”
Zlatan to make United debut on July 30?
Ibrahimovic hasn’t travelled to China for the pre-season matches against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City but could make his United debut against Galatasaray in Gothenburg on July 30.
Will Zlatan be a success at Old Trafford - or will he flop? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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