Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s transfer to Major League Soccer has been in discussions for more than a year, but the pieces are finally into place to make that blockbuster a reality.
ESPN reported on Thursday morning that the Ibrahimovic move to MLS was imminent, with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho giving his blessing.
And sources have now confirmed to Goal that the 36-year-old is in advanced discussions with MLS on a transfer from Manchester United to the LA Galaxy that would see him head to California in the coming weeks.
The primary MLS transfer window is still open, and doesn’t close until May 1, paving the way for Ibrahimovic to join the Galaxy immediately.
If a deal is done this week, it could conceivably make him available for the Galaxy’s first match against new cross-town rival Los Angeles FC on March 31.
Ibrahimovic was negotiating with MLS a year ago for a potential summer move before torn knee ligaments sidelined him and scrapped a potential $6.5 million a year move to Los Angeles.
The experienced attacker eventually re-signed with Manchester United well ahead of his return from knee surgery, but the arrival of Romelu Lukaku has made finding playing time difficult for the striker and he recently already hinted at a transfer to MLS.
“I did not know that several Swedes went to MLS,” Ibrahimovic told SportExpressen at the start of this month. “That means it’s tempting to play in the United States.
“Los Angeles is a nice city and I’ve been there a lot on vacation. It is laid back. I think it’s rumors all the time [about my future]. When I play and when I do not play it is rumors. That’s good, that means I live.”
The signing would be a coup for the Galaxy, which has been starving for star power since the departures of Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Landon Donovan in recent years.
That, coupled with the arrival of Los Angeles FC as a new MLS expansion team, has put pressure on the Galaxy to make a major signing after what was a terrible 2017 season in which they finished rock-bottom of the Western Conference.