Jose Mourinho expects Zlatan Ibrahimovic to leave Manchester United at the end of the season.
Ibrahimovic has struggled for fitness since returning from the serious knee ligament injury he suffered last season which sidelined him for seven months, with his last game for United coming against Burnley on Boxing Day.
United boss Mourinho, who also managed Ibrahimovic while at Inter, is disappointed the Swede’s time at Old Trafford has been marred by injury.
I think he wants the right of choosing his life, his future, such an amazing player and amazing career. [It’s a shame] that only that awful injury at the wrong moment broke a fantastic couple of seasons he could, and should, have had with us. This season is really different for him.
He’s not injured. Does he feel totally happy, ready and convinced that he’s in condition 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 and hopefully his evolution brings him to that level. He wants to have a positive answer.
Ibrahimovic has made just seven appearances for United this season and was only able to complete 45 minutes in his previous outing after suffering a recurrence of the knee injury he picked up last April.
Meanwhile, midfielder Marouane Fellaini is expected to return in the next few weeks after undergoing a minor knee operation, but Mourinho says his future remains unclear with his deal at the club set to expire at the end of the season.
Fellaini is a different story, he’s still a young player, his injury had a little surgery but minor surgery and he will be back to play again in a couple of weeks, said Mourinho.
So if we proceed in the Champions League after Sevilla I think he will be ready for a hypothetical quarter-final, a hypothetical FA Cup semi-final, for the last couple of months of our Premier League fight.
Is he going to stay or leave? I don’t know, I want him to stay, the club want him to stay. The process, negotiations, numbers, distances between the offer and what he wants, I really don’t know.