Jose Mourinho will offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic a coaching role at Manchester United – as part of the short term deal currently being discussed with the Swede – once he decides to retire from playing, according to reports.
The 35-year-old signed for United on a free transfer last July and went on to claim 28 goals for Mourinho’s side before suffering a season-ending knee ligament injury against Anderlecht back in April. He was subsequently released from the club in June and attracted interest from both AC Milan and LA Galaxy.
But Mourinho confirmed last week that the club has entered talks with Ibrahimovic and his representatives over handing the striker a short-term contract for when he returns to full fitness in July, although the Swede has previously insisted he can return to action by November. And according to the Independent‘s Miguel Delaney, Zlatan will be offered the chance to take up a coaching role at Old Trafford once he decides to hang up his boots – presumably at the end of this season.
Mourinho clearly sees Zlatan, a galvanising presence in the dressing room, as somebody capable of bridging the gap between manager and players in similar fashion to Didier Drogba during the 54-year-old’s second spell at Stamford Bridge.
His influence last season – both on and off the pitch – was invaluable. This United squad has slowly shifted away from the lobotomising dogmatism imposed by Louis van Gaal and closer towards a collective identity forged out of a serial winning mentality, and Zlatan has been at the very heart of this transformation since day one. Keeping him around the dressing room is a no-brainer.