Jose Mourinho has hinted that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could rejoin Manchester United for the second half of the 2017/18 season.
Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals for United last season before a serious knee injury ruled him out for the rest of the season, and could see him out until the new year.
The former PSG man is technically a free agent, while Mourinho has strengthened his forward line already by landing Romelu Lukaku from Everton for a reported £75million.
However, a possible return for the second half of next season has not been ruled out by the Red Devils’ boss.
“We spent big money on a striker because, with strikers, you either spend or you don’t get,” Mourinho told reporters.
“And we spent because of what happened to Zlatan and we can not allow ourselves to be without an important, strong striker for the first six months of the season.”
Zlatan continues to use United’s facilities while his recovery continues, and on Tuesday midfielder Paul Pogba insisted Ibrahimovic was still a “big leader” at the club.
“Obviously Zlatan is a leader, always a big leader,” United midfielder Pogba said in Washington.
“And he’s still a big leader because he’s still in the team, even when he’s not playing he’s a leader outside of the pitch.
“I’ve been playing for one season, I came here to hopefully be a leader as well in the team. That’s not like the objective, but that’s how you should be.
“I’ve been here, we won and we want to grow up as a player and a leader as well.
“I can learn from him, from Carras (Michael Carrick), from all the players and become a leader.”