Mino Raiola, the agent of Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, believes the Swede has a “minimum of five or six” years left to play.
Raiola made the bold claims regarding the 36-year-old in an interview withExpressen (via MailOnline’s Glen Williams):
“He has so much in him. I think minimum another five or six years. I won’t let him stop, he has to work for me now. I have been working for him for several years. Now it’s my turn. My children are grown up and I need money.
“We have agreed that he is only working for me for five years now. So we’re flipping it now. The salary comes to me and he gets the commission.”
Ibrahimovic has yet to feature this season as he works his way back from a knee injury but was signed to a new deal by United in the summer. He’s expected to compete with Romelu Lukaku for the starting position when he returns to full health.
The former Paris Saint-Germain forward has remained relatively injury free for the bulk of his career and has so far avoided the usual decline that comes with age. Last season, he scored 17 goals in his first Premier League campaign.
Raiola also claimed the knee injury won’t stop the player moving forward, even saying his doctor, Freddie Fu, was impressed and wants to study his knee:
“Yes, they want to. (Fu) says so.
“He says he has never seen such a strong and pure knee after such a long career as Zlatan has. Imagine all the bangs.
“This is a professor who takes care of athletes from all over the world and works with an American football team. He says he has never seen anything like 40 years. It’s the best knee he has ever seen.”
Ibrahimovic’s game has never revolved around raw athleticism or speed, with the Swede instead relying on technique, positioning and brute strength. He has aged very well on the pitch so far, and that should continue for a few more years.
While top clubs like United will prioritise younger signings―like Lukaku―other options will become available. Per Rob Dawson of ESPN FC, Raiola said MLS clubs were interested in his signature before he penned a new deal with the Red Devils, and most still expect Ibrahimovic to end up in the United States eventually.