Manchester United are already planning to offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic a new two year deal, with the option of a third year, after the Swede broke a series of fitness records at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic signed a one-year deal, with an option of a further 12 months, when he joined on a Bosman free transfer from French champions Paris Saint-Germain in July.
But both the Sunday Mirror and The Sun on Sunday claim United are already in talks about extending the 12-month deal by a further year – and offer an additional season on top of that with a package that would take the player, who turns 35 next month, close to his 38th birthday.
The player, who could technically discuss a Bosman free transfer from January under his current deal, was named in our list of five star Premier League talents in the final year of their contracts, earlier this week.
After scoring five goals in his first five appearances for the club – including their strike in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City – a club insider has reportedly described the former Juventus, Barcelona and AC Milan star as “the kind of talisman not seen at the club since Eric Cantona”.
But while Ibrahimovic already exerts a huge influence in the Old Trafford dressing room, it is his brilliant physical condition that has left the club’s coaching staff astonished.
Ibra’s first promise when he arrived at the club was that he would break every training record – and he has been as good as his word.
In some instances, the Swede was posting times and distances between 15 per cent and 20 per cent better than team-mates who are 10 years younger than him.
One measured leap from a standing start left witnesses stunned.
Another exercise to measure the power of his hamstrings had the same effect.
Ibrahimovic, who has enjoyed a long career free of serious injuries, was seen as a short-term cure for new boss Jose Mourinho when he teamed up again with his former Inter coach on a £250,000-a-week deal.
But the belief now is that he is in such great physical shape he can go on for a further two years after this season.
And the Mirror claims United are now planning to sit down with Ibrahimovic early in the New Year to discuss his future with the aim of extending his stay.