Manchester United will complete the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and could conclude a deal before the start of Euro 2016, according to Sky sources.
It is understood United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Ibrahimovic’s representatives are finalising terms on a one-year contract, with Jose Mourinho determined to make the Sweden international his first marquee signing at Old Trafford.
And a free transfer following the expiration of his current Paris Saint-Germain deal is expected to be completed before Sweden’s first Group E match against Ireland on June 13.
Sky sources understand Ibrahimovic is the only striker Mourinho wants to sign this summer, with the Portuguese convinced Marcus Rashford can make a significant impact at Old Trafford next season.
While Mourinho believes Ibrahimovic is a key signing that United need if they are to challenge for the Premier League title next term, he is also keen to give Rashford plenty of opportunities to continue his rapid development.
Sky Sports News HQ has been told that Mourinho is conscious of the need to continue United’s legacy of bringing through young players into the first team, and even passed on the opportunity to sign Leicester’s Jamie Vardy this week so as to protect Rashford’s progress.
Sky sources first reported United’s interest in the former Malmo FF, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and AC Milan star back in May, ahead of Mourinho’s appointment to replace Louis van Gaal.
Talks between United and Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola gathered pace following Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford, and Sky sources subsequently reported last week that they were only Premier League club Ibrahimovic was considering.
It is understood the 6ft 5in, Malmo-born Swede wants to add the Premier League to his array of titles that includes the Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1 and Dutch Eredivisie.
Ibrahimovic had more lucrative offers from Chinese Super League clubs and options in Italy, but it appears he has been convinced to move to Manchester for a reunion with Mourinho, and that it’s the right move to make at this stage of his illustrious career.