Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Manchester United open talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic over new contract

Manchester United open talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic over new contract

United have spent heavily this summer, signing Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic for a combined fee of over £150m, as they look to challenge both domestically and in the Champions League.

"I understand the reality of the market, the numbers and my club by doing 75 per cent of what I asked, the club did well".

The Red Devils finished in sixth place in the table in Mourinho's first term in charge as they effectively surrendered their remaining domestic fixtures in order to prioritise winning the Europa League.

Speaking at his pre-match news conference on Friday afternoon, Mourinho said: "I'm happy with the effort the club did". I do think it will be a decent game but expect the hosts to edge it.

"We had three players as you know, one defender, one midfielder and one attacking player but for this beginning of the season we lost important players too, we lost [Marcos] Rojo, [Ashley] Young, [Luke] Shaw, Zlatan, we lost players for injuries so I think between the players we lost and we got we are in a similar situation", he said.

"When this season I got the call that Matic wants to play for me, wants to play for Manchester United and he can make it happen, I thought he's the ideal player for me".

Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals for United last season but left Old Trafford after succumbing to a knee ligament injury in the UEFA Europa League quarter-final at home to Anderlecht in April.

"He was very clear, by showing what he did past year, that it was not enough for him", Mourinho told reporters on Friday.

"So we are having conversations and we are discussing the possibility of him staying with us for the second part of the season".

"It's not something urgent, that we are desperate to have it done or not done".

Mourinho's optimism is based on three beliefs; he feels he has a more settled squad than when he arrived, that they have had a better pre-season than 12 months ago and that their rivals at the top of the division will have greater distractions in European competition this time.

United also have the best opening day record of any Premier League team while West Ham have the worst so this should only go one way. We are going to try to win the title.

"I think everybody is in Europe".

"We have got a central defender who can play in many other positions, such as right-back and central midfield". "He's not got a contract, but he's still close to Manchester, and the fact we are involved in the Super Cup now is also his merit". "But we have players and if we can not strengthen the team in these areas, we have players that we trust".

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