Louis van Gaal has hinted Manchester United will not attempt to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer because the striker is too old.
Van Gaal has dramatically decreased the average age of United’s squad in his two seasons in charge at Old Trafford, though the Dutchman did sign Bastian Schweinsteiger last summer shortly before his 31st birthday.
Van Gaal told Swedish TV station Viasat: “We need to improve our selection [squad], because when I took over we had six or seven players above 33 years old. Nobody knows that anymore because now they are gone.
“But now we have a much younger team and still we need a much younger selection because we need creative players in attack and also fast players.
“I like [our] own youth players more because they already know the culture in Manchester United, and that is also the philosophy for example of Ajax or Barcelona and also Bayern Munich.”
Asked specifically about 34-year-old Ibrahimovic, Van Gaal said: “I think it is unbelievable what he is doing. I saw the game against Manchester City, and it was a big disappointment for me because he should have scored two times at least.
“Paris Saint-Germain is Zlatan and that is fantastic. When a manager like me, who favours the team [above the individual], is saying that, that is a compliment for him.
“But he’s already 34 and I just spoke about the age [of the players] I let go.”
It was reported earlier this week that Ibrahimovic would not consider playing for Van Gaal anyway having described the United boss as a “pompous ass” in his autobiography.