There have been rumors abounding lately that a certain tall Swedish PSG striker is going to make a move to Manchester United.
(Jay Z voice) Let's end the speculation I'm talkin' to all of y'all.
Zlatan is not going to Manchester United. Zlatan doesn't like Louis van Gaal.
Here is a section of a Sports Illustrated interview from last year. (the whole interview is worth a read):
SI – You write a little bit about Louis van Gaal, who was your technical director at Ajax. He’s about to take over Manchester United. You don’t seem to like him all that much. Why not?
IBRAHIMOVIC – No, because he’s the old tradition. The old general. He’s the boss and everybody else can, how do you say—they’re soldiers. I mean, you have to have a little bit of feeling in the whole thing. Many big stars have problems with him because of the way he is. I understand if you’re 15 to 20 years old, you put the discipline there. Which is normal, because I was in Holland, I was in that school where he built up Ajax. And I understand it, but when you come to a team with 22 big stars, that’s what you treat them like? Like small boys?
We were in a dining room and sitting there until he says, “Ok, go ahead, now you can eat.” Then suddenly we could eat. So we could not eat before he says. And he was acting – we had a, we had a situation where he was the Director in Ajax and he was, yeah, he was the boss then. No problem. You’re the boss. And he was saying to me … We had a situation with [his Ajax teammate Rafael] Van der Vaart.
I talked about it in the book. [Van der Vaart] got injured and he was blaming me that I did it on purpose. I said to him I didn’t do it on purpose. And so it went on, and at the end I said will not play if Van der Vaart is to play because my own captain is attacking me and blaming me for injuring him. Instead of protecting your team as a captain outside the team and also inside the team, he is doing totally the opposite. He is trying now to attack me and get everybody against me. And we had a meeting with Van Gaal and he says, “Listen. I’m the boss. If I tell you to play, you play.” And I was like, “You’re the boss but if I tell you I will not play as long as Van der Vaart is playing, I’m not playing. If you can’t understand nothing just sit and wait and you will see me that I will not play.”
Here is a snippet from another Sports Illustrated interview, this one from yesterday (watch it here):
“No, that's not good,” Ibrahimovic said. “He was a director in Ajax, and the way he is working is not the way I work.”
Ibrahimovic said that he could foresee problems with van Gaal if he were to play under the Dutchman at Manchester United, but he declined to say that it would prevent him from playing at Old Trafford.
Zlatan has a history of clashing with coaches and then leaving clubs, just ask Pep Guardiola. He's 33. He doesn't have a year to waste buried on the bench because he and van Gaal got into a little tiff, and he knows it. Zlatan, for all of the posturing, is a smart guy, and going to Manchester United with his temperament is not the move a smart guy would make.
Contact The18 Staff Writer Sam Klomhaus at Klomhaus@The18.com or follow him on Twitter @SamKlomhaus