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28.12.2019 Europe

Zlatan's the man for AC Milan

By Paul Myers - RFI
Reuters/Jake Roth
LISTEN DEC 28, 2019
Reuters/Jake Roth

Former Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has ended speculation over his future with the announcement that he will return to AC Milan in January on a six month deal.

The Swede was a free agent after leaving LA Galaxy at the end of the Major League Soccer season in October.

He had been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur following the appointment of Jose Mourinho with whom he worked at Inter Milan and Manchester United.

But Mourinho ruled out another association shortly after taking over from Mauriccio Pochettino in north London.

Milan said Ibrahimovic would be in the city on 2 January to take a medical and join his new teammates.

"I'm coming back to a club I hugely respect and to the city of Milan I love," Ibrahimovic said.

Ibrahimovic, 38, was at Milan between 2010 and 2012. He hit 42 goals in 61 league games for the club before heading to Paris Saint-Germain where he remained for four years scoring 156 goals in 180 games.

Prodigious prodigal
Following a two year spell at Manchester United, Ibrahimovic moved to the United States where he notched up 53 goals in 58 outings for LA Galaxy.

The timing of Ibrahimovic's signature will come as a boost for the ailing giants. Milan are without a major trophy since their 18th Italia title in 2011.

With 21 points after 17 games of the 2019/2020 campaign, they sit in 11th place - 21 points off the pacesetters Juventus and Inter Milan.

The club sacked coach Marco Giampaolo in October but the team has not prospered under the stewardship of his replacement Stefano Pioli. On 22 December they lost 5-0 at Atlanta, their biggest defeat for 21 years.

"I'll fight together with my team-mates to change the course of this season," said Ibrahimovic. "I will do everything to make it happen."

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