Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘intends to keep playing’ despite being ruled out for eight months after knee surgery – with AC Milan chief Paolo Maldini revealing he ‘doesn’t see a problem’ in reaching ‘an agreement’ with the 40-year-old
AC Milan expect Zlatan Ibrahimovic to shun retirement at 40 and return to action in 2023 – despite facing an eight-month lay-off because of knee surgery.
Iconic striker Ibrahimovic revealed he had ‘never suffered so much’ while he helped Milan to win Serie A without an ACL in his knee, relying on painkillers and injections that made his role on the pitch peripheral during the second half of the season.
The Sweden legend will undergo a major operation but has already spoken to Milan about his future, according to club technical director Paolo Maldini.
Scudetto winner Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not play again until he is 41 because of knee surgery
Milan technical chief Paolo Maldini expects the club to reach ‘an agreement’ with Ibrahimovic
Maldini told Gazzetta via Football Italia: ‘I spoke to [Ibrahimovic] on Monday and we said we’d discuss it again in about 15 days. I don’t see a problem in reaching an agreement.
‘Naturally, he’s not happy at playing so little. We’ll see what happens in the next two weeks.
‘Whatever we do will be for the good of him and Milan. From what I understand, his intention is to keep playing.’
The announcement of Ibrahimovic’s second spell at Milan at the end of 2020 was widely seen as a surprising short-term solution.
Icon Ibrahimovic has not started a game since January and said he had played without an ACL
The former LA Galaxy and Manchester United hitman’s arrival sparked Milan’s rapid revival from midtable strugglers to Scudetto contenders, earning the irrepressible veteran a new contract by popular demand.
Ten years after his first Serie A victory with Milan, Ibrahimovic repeated the trick at the end of his first full season following his return to the Rossoneri, scoring eight goals in 23 appearances as they saw off arch-rivals Inter in a tight title race.
Maldini confirmed that Milan are on the brink of signing outgoing Liverpool forward Divock Origi, whose Anfield contract ends on June 30.
The former Italy defender said: ‘We are talking to Origi and the thing is at a very advanced stage.’