Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Manchester United will take up the option to extend Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s deal by an extra year until 2018.
The Sweden great moved to Old Trafford on a free transfer in the close-season after four successful and trophy-laden seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, during which time he became the club’s record goal scorer.
Ibrahimovic, 35, initially penned a one-year contract with the option to extend the deal by a further 12 months, a clause that manager Mourinho says United plan to exercise.
“The Zlatan situation is simple, he has one year plus another year at the club and we are happy with him,” Mourinho told a news conference ahead of United’s Europa League clash against Feyenoord.
“We are going to execute the extra year option. In two years’ time he will be free. He is happy and he is committed.
“It’s the last big challenge of his wonderful career.”
Ibrahimovic has scored six goals in his opening 11 Premier League matches, but appeared to cast doubt on prolonging his stay at Old Trafford into a second season when he spoke of his desire to “conquer” America in the MLS.
The former AC Milan striker has long since been linked to a move across the Atlantic and told Aftonbladet on Tuesday: “Playing in the USA is a huge option for me. For the football and everything else. I can see myself conquering the US as I have with Europe.”
But speaking after Mourinho, Ibrahimovic told the assembled media his Old Trafford future was secure.
He was not fully committal in his response, but insisted there was no need for contract talks as he expected to trigger the second year of his agreement
“We didn’t even have any discussions, we had a contract that said one plus one,” he said. “I feel good I feel fresh, I feel like now I will probably take a second year.
“I want to be honest with myself and I don’t want to waste time, but if I feel like now then yes. The second year goes automatic.”
United have made an indifferent start to the Mourinho era and are sixth in the league, nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea.