Jose Mourinho expects Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United at the end of season and believes the striker is weighing up whether to end his playing career.
Ibrahimovic has only featured sparingly for Mourinho’s side this season as he has struggled to fully recover from the effects of a serious injury.
The 36-year-old spent seven months on the sidelines last year after suffering ligament damage in his right knee and, though initially positive signs in his recovery led to United awarding him a year-long contract extension, Ibrahimovic is yet to return to his best.
The Swede, who has attracted interest from Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy, is likely to leave Old Trafford when his current deal expires at the end of the season, but Mourinho confirmed as much for the first time during his press conference on Friday.
“For Zlatan, we all think it’s his last season at Manchester United and will be a very personal decision for him to play or to stop,” the United manager said.
“I think he won the right of choosing his life, his future. Such an amazing player and amazing career, only that awful injury in the wrong moment broke a fantastic couple of seasons he could and should have with us.
“This season really difficult for him,” Mourinho said of Ibrahimovic, whose last appearance for United came in Boxing Day’s 2-2 draw with Burnley.
“He’s not injured. Does he feel totally happy, ready and convinced that he’s in conditions to help the team in this moment? No, but he’s such an honest guy and such a champion he only wants to be back with that feeling of ‘I’m totally ready for it’, so he’s working hard.
“Hopefully his evolution brings him to that level he wants to have a positive answer.”