There has been no shortage of interest in Zlatan Ibrahimović. With his contract at LA Galaxy set to expire at the end of the year, multiple clubs have been expressing their interest. While reports have said that Jose Mourinho can be looking at him for Tottenham, interest from AC Milan has been the most concrete.
Milan sporting director Ricky Massara did talk about the Swede in an interview recently. The former Roma director told Sky Italia (via MilanNews):
“Ibrahimović is a great champion who has written important pages in the Milan history books,” Massara continued.
“When his name is accosted to Milan, it becomes an irresistible suggestion, but it remains only an idea. When the transfer window opens, then we’ll see with the coach what needs to be done.”
Contact with the striker has been made by the Rossoneri. They have presented a “convincing” offer to Mino Raiola, with Zlatan currently taking note of the offer. Fabrizio Romano has said that an 18-month-long deal has been offered and Milan are keen on handing him a wage of €6m a year.
The signs are very clear the Milan want to sign him. But there isn’t an exact space for him in the side, considering Milan did sign Krzysztof Piatek from Genoa last January. They did sell Patrick Cutrone in the summer but brought in Rafael Leao from Lille as well.
Not just that, but they did offload Andre Silva and swapped the Portuguese for 2018 FIFA World Cup finalist Ante Rebic. While the Croatian made only his first start against Napoli recently, he hasn’t been used much by either Stefano Pioli or Marco Giampaolo.
In total, Milan have three striker options. But none of them have convinced, especially Piatek. The Pole has found the back of the net three times only, with only one of them coming from open play. The other two have been penalties.
Leao was used as a striker by Giampaolo, but the indications are that he will be used as a wide player because of the pace that he has. The same goes for Rebic, who has been playing wide more often than not.
That does seem the plan, considering the club’s chase of Ibrahimović. While it does present a lack of planning from the board, they can well make up for those mistakes.
Ibrahimović is 38, but his goalscoring record in the MLS was unreal. In 58 appearances for LA Galaxy, he found the back of the net 53 times and bagged a tally of 13 assists as well. While he may be getting older, he could well be a very good option from the bench.
More than the goals, he represents a personality who has a winning mentality. He has won trophies across Europe and is known for that no-nonsense approach winning. Milan have been accused of not having the mentality to win. 12 of the 17 goals that they have conceded shows that they don’t have the fight to go on till the last 90 minutes.
They don’t have a leader in that side, even though Alessio Romagnoli does don the captain’s armband. They need someone like Zlatan to come and take control of the dressing room. He can lift the younger players when things aren’t right and get them 7-8 goals in the second half of the campaign.
Piatek’s lack of goals can be made up by Zlatan. The goals that the Pole can’t score can be scored by Ibrahimović. But the move would present more than just an option for goals. It will be about intent, ambition and the winning mentality. Milan need to show all of them.