Reports in Spain claim Atletico Madrid may make a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic when their transfer ban is lifted in the New Year.
Los Rojiblancos have had their Fifa-imposed ban upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning they are unable to register any new players this summer. Whilst this has allowed them to keep hold of Antoine Griezmann, who was expected to join Manchester United, it has frustrated them in their quest to take Diego Costa back from Chelsea and to land Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette.
The latter would now seem to be off the table for the foreseeable future as he is expected to join Arsenal in the coming weeks, but their interest in Costa could well be resumed in January. And according to reports in Spain, they could also look to offer Ibrahimovic a return to La Liga six years after his left Barcelona for Milan, after which he went to Paris St Germain in France.
The 35-year-old has more recently been plying his trade in England with United, helping them win the League Cup and UEFA Europa League in his one and only season at the club. A serious knee injury ended his campaign in April so he was unable to add to an impressive tally of 28 goals in 46 appearances, and he has since been released following the expiration of his one-year contract.
Ibrahimovic has dismissed speculation that the knee injury will end his career, but although his recuperation is progressing well, he is unlikely to be back in action until towards the end of the year at the earliest. And according to Diario Sport, his next port of call could be to the Spanish capital to join Atletico in their new 68,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
It is believed Diego Simeone has been monitoring the former Sweden international’s recovery in recent weeks, and he will compete with LA Galaxy for his signature once he has regained his fitness. Such a move will appeal to Ibrahimovic who still feels – as he proved last season- that he can produce in the biggest leagues in Europe, and a return to the UEFA Champions League will also be tempting.