Wednesday 12 December 2018

'Give Ibra two more seasons'

Ex-United star recommends longer deal for striker

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his equaliser against Liverpool last Sunday - his 14th goal in 20 games for Manchester United this season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his equaliser against Liverpool last Sunday - his 14th goal in 20 games for Manchester United this season.

Manchester United could extend Zlatan Ibrahimovic's stay at Old Trafford - for more than another year.

United's 35-year-old striker signed a one-year Old Trafford deal last summer with an option to extend for a further 12 months.

Jose Mourinho is keen to activate that option but there has also been speculation the Swede might be offered a two-year contract.

And United's double Champions League-winning defender Wes Brown believes 19-goal Ibrahimovic has the desire to ensure a new agreement would be a success - and doesn't believe the Swede's age is a barrier.

"I don't think it is. He wants to be the best at everything he does," he said.

"And I think he is proving it at the moment with how he is playing and the goals he is scoring. You can see it running throughout the team." Meanwhile, Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw will get a chance to impress in the coming games as he tries to fight his way back into Mourinho's plans.

Having spent 10 months out following the horrific double leg break he sustained in September 2015, the 21-year-old's comeback this term has understandably been disrupted by minor injuries. Those issues have restricted his playing time and Shaw has not featured since limping off at half-time during the League Cup quarter-final against West Ham seven weeks ago.

A hamstring problem continued to prove troublesome into the New Year but the England international has been training since the start of last week.

Mourinho chose not to select him for the first leg of the League Cup semi-final against Hull or in Sunday's league clash with Liverpool, but it is understood Shaw is set to get his chance.

Saturday's league trip to Stoke is followed by the return leg at Hull, before United's FA Cup fourth-round clash with Wigan and the league match against familiar foes Hull on February 1.

Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind have regularly played at left-back under Mourinho, while Marcos Rojo, who has impressed in central defence recently, can also play there.

It has also emerged that United are back on top of the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time since 2005 but the pound's fall against the euro means they may struggle to beat Barcelona and Real Madrid next year.

Real, who had topped the list for 11 years, were beaten to second place by their La Liga rivals by just €100,000.

United, on the other hand, have surged ahead of the pack, becoming the first football team to earn more than £500million in a season - the club's total revenue of £515million is almost £50million more than Barcelona and Real generated.

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