In an announcement shocking nobody, Zlatan Ibrahimović confirmed today that he will in fact be rejoining his old boss José Mourinho at Manchester United next season.
Reports are that he’ll be making an insane £220,000 per week during the course of what is a one-year contract. The Red Devils can justify making a 34-year-old striker who is quite obviously no longer as effortlessly mobile on the pitch as he once was one of the highest paid players in the entire league for a few reasons: 1) he’s still Zlatan, a marketing goldmine and automatically the most famous player in the Premier League; 2) United saved millions on transfer fees by being able to sign him after his PSG contract expired; and 3) he’s still really good (probably; though he did score a career-high 38 goals in the league last season, Ligue 1 is terrible).
The only possibly surprising thing to come from this whole saga was probably how long it took for Ibra to officially sign with the team—which, by the way, still won’t happen until tomorrow—after it became obvious weeks ago that he’d be taking his talents to Manchester. The issue there appears to have been that Ibrahimović stood to lose out on about £4 million from a clause in his PSG contract if he signed anywhere else before that contract’s expiration. Naturally, that contract expires with PSG today, so it’s safe for him to announce it now and sign the new one with United tomorrow.
So United take a chance on a (formerly?) world-class striker for a very reasonable price and get a motivated, internationally famous, arrogant bastard of a man to sell shirts and fire up the fan base and entertain everyone else; Zlatan gets at least another year on the top of the sport’s mountain and could possibly prove once and for all that he can indeed do it on a rainy Thursday in Stoke; Mourinho gets a proven goalscorer to lead what was a sorry United attack and a player who shares his sense of brash cockiness, love of press conference barbs, and, above all, the hunger for trophies; and Premier League fans get to watch what could be a brilliant and successful experiment or yet another disaster with which we can further flesh out our lolunited tag. Everybody wins.