Milan (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic could consider a return to AC Milan in Serie A, according to the Sweden striker’s agent in a report on Thursday.
Ibrahimovic is set to leave the French champions at the end of the season, with reports claiming the 34-goal striker could be headed for England’s Premier League.
Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola told men’s magazine GQ Italia that the Swede could return to Italy where he also starred for Juventus and Inter Milan.
Extracts appear on gazzetta.it, which quoted Raiola as saying: “Ibra could return to Italy, to Milan.”
In what is seen as a veiled reference to recent reports linking Ibrahimovic to a 75m euros-per-season deal in China, Raiola, in direct extracts from the magazine interview, added: “Ibra is a player who is capable of some amazing tricks. Even turning down many millions to go to AC Milan. He has still not decided.”
Raiola also represents Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and Liverpool’s on-loan AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli.
He dismissed claims highly-rated Pogba would be tempted away from recently-crowned champions Juve by Chelsea this summer, but added: “At least not right now.”
And he believes Balotelli, who has yet to resurrect his rollercoaster career at fallen Italian giants Milan, would have been a match for Barcelona icon Lionel Messi if he only had the same attitude to his career as Ibrahimovic.
Balotelli has only recently returned to competition amid an injury-hit campaign but although earning plaudits for a string of composed performances, the former World Cup striker is set to be excluded from Italy’s Euro 2016 squad by coach Antonio Conte later this month.
“If he (Balotelli) had the same attitude as Ibrahimovic, Messi would have had a few less Ballon d’Or awards,” he suggested.
Raiola’s diverse portfolio of players means he is regarded as an authority by many watchers of the sport, while considered a pariah by several top coaches and managers — among whom Sir Alex Ferguson, who has crossed verbal swords with the multilingual Dutch agent before the Scot’s retirement from football.
And he rated the clubs in Italy’s Serie A,the majority of whom do not own their own stadiums, as bottom of the class.
“In Italy, a club owner doesn’t own anything. All he has is 60 salaries to pay. If the team wins, they’re heroes and if they lose they’re to be hung out to dry,” said Raiola.
“It’s the fans who run things.”
Despite former run-ins with Ferguson, especially following Pogba’s decision to walk away from Old Trafford to Juventus on a free transfer, Raiola paid tribute to the “managerial” and “strategic” skills of Manchester United’s owners the Glazer family.
“The Glazers at Manchester United didn’t put one pound into the club, but they brought in managerial skills and strategy,” he said.
“They inherited a team in the abyss and now they have their heads well above water.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- ‘Game-changer’ Bynoe-Gittens propels Dortmund to comeback win over Freiburg
- Osasuna stun Sevilla in Liga opener
- Ismaily strikes late to rescue Ligue 1 draw for Lille
- Barcelona finally register Lewandowski on eve of new season
- English teen Bynoe-Gittens propels Dortmund to 3-1 comeback win over Freiburg
- Willian leaves Corinthians following death threats
- Seven-time winner Messi misses out on Ballon d’Or nomination
- EPL commentators on NBC: August 13 to 15
- Rush from potential tenants for Cruyff’s boyhood home
- Tottenham boss Conte relishing heated Chelsea challenge