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Leonardo: Ibrahimovic return to Milan not possible

zlatanibrahimovic-cropped LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (source: Getty Images)

AC Milan director Leonardo said Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning is not possible, though he admitted the LA Galaxy striker was more than a thought for the Italian side.

Ibrahimovic scored 42 Serie A goals for Milan between 2010 and 2012, before leaving to join Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

The former Sweden star has netted 20 times for MLS side the Galaxy so far in 2018, and Milan reportedly made contact with the 37-year-old striker over a possible transfer.

Milan director Leonardo, however, cast doubt over the rumours prior to Thursday’s 3-1 win over Olympiacos in the Europa League.

“Ibra has very close ties to Milan, everyone knows this,” Leonardo told Sky Sport Italia.

“We cannot deny it was more than a brief thought going through our minds when we first arrived, as he is extraordinary and has very specific characteristics, but right now it’s not possible.”

Gennaro Gattuso, meanwhile, backed Patrick Cutrone to take up the mantle of Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi amid the links with Ibrahimovic.

Cutrone scored either side of Gonzalo Higuain’s goal as Milan netted three times in the space of nine second-half minutes to come from behind and beat Olympiacos.

The youngster represented a rare bright spot in Milan’s dismal campaign in 2017-18 and Gattuso believes Cutrone has the skill set to go on and match the career of San Siro great Inzaghi.

“I hope he can become the new Inzaghi,” Gattuso told a news conference. “But he must keep working and keep his feet on the ground.”

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