Milan could be on the cusp of securing the sensational return of Zlatan Ibrahimović, seven years after he left the club.
Zlatan left the San Siro in 2012 having been one of the few players to play for both of the Milan-based clubs and be respected by both.
He also played for Spanish giants Barcelona, Ajax, Manchester United, Paris St Germain and Juventus and is one of the most recognisable football stars in the world. Even at the age of 38, he’s still a huge draw for headline writers as well as being a top talent on the field.
It’s now speculated he’s close to returning to Milan following a stint in the United States with LA Galaxy, where he has 53 goals from 58 appearances.
A return to the San Siro would come at a crucial time in Milan’s history. bwin Serie A report that Milan have been concentrating on the league this season after being banned from the Europa League due to financial fair play breaches. However, after a dismal start to the season, they languish in the lower reaches of the table and have already dismissed coach Marco Giampaolo.
A Reuters article explains how he lost four of his opening five fixtures resulting in the former European Champions turning to Stefano Pioli. Pioli is now reportedly looking to bring a little success back to the club, with Zlatan being a four-time Serie A winner, with an additional two title wins revoked whilst at Juventus. He’s also lifted La Liga once, Ligue 1 four times and the Eredivisie twice.
That consistent success is something Milan desperately need to bring back to their struggling club. Despite being one of the world’s most distinctive sides, the current struggles are reflective of a couple of years of decline, which is even more galling as city rivals Inter look to challenge Juventus this season, having been boosted by the high-profile arrival of Romelu Lukaku.
Despite his advancing years, signing Zlatan would be a major coup for Milan, who were comfortably beaten 2-1 at home by Lazio recently. There’s a definite lack of star quality across the squad, with Krzysztof Piatek struggling for goals; he’s bagged just three in eleven whilst his understudy Rafael Leao has just one since a move from Lille.
Milan have opted for several formations this season; 4-3-3, 4-3-2-1 and 4-1-4-1 at different times, but all rely on having a good centre forward who can hold the ball up and provide a physical presence. To secure a genuine leader like Zlatan, with the ability to bring some other players into play around him, would surely see a resurgence in their fortunes.
Missing out on European football is a big blow, but with plans afoot for a new stadium, Milan desperately need to show some signs of improvement over the coming weeks. With a run of games in December that includes Sassuolo, Bologna, Parma and Sampdoria, there’s every chance that an inspirational January signing such as Zlatan could come into a team invigorated by a positive run of results, ready to make a major impact in the first half of 2020.