Manchester United’s big new Swede, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, doesn’t appear to be even a day past his prime at 34, with four goals in his first four Manchester United matches. That being said, he seems ready to start preparing for the day when his incredibly long career at the highest level winds to a close, and when he is done playing football, he wants to coach players.
A report from The Sun, citing an inside source at the club, states that Ibrahimovic doesn’t see his professional career ending for at least another two years, but once the time comes, he wants to enter straight into a coaching role. The report speculates that Mourinho could potentially hire him as a coach at United if ‘The Special One’ is still United manager when Ibrahimovic decides to hang up his boots. The quotes also state that Ibrahimovic could also end up in Italy. Ibrahimovic reportedly plans to start and finish his coaching exams by next summer.
“Zlatan is already tapping into Jose Mourinho and planning for the future in the game. He has told the lads he does not see an end to his playing days for another two or three years. Jose has left his door open and Ibra likes the idea of coaching, but not necessarily a manager right away. He is enjoying picking up a few ideas and he fancies Italy.”
The report, from an unnamed source, seems unreliable, but it also would make sense. Back in the summer, rumours surfaced that Ibrahimovic was joining Mourinho’s United as a coach as opposed to joining as a player. There appears to be a consistent link between Mourinho, United and Ibrahimovic’s transition from player to coach, and time will tell whether or not it eventually proves true.
Continuing the reports from the inside source that spoke to The Sun, though, Ibrahimovic is already reportedly training the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard at United, participating in additional shooting practice after training while giving United’s three attacking youngsters potentially valuable advice. Ibrahimovic is arguably the best footballer in the world when it comes to striking the ball, and he is the perfect mentor for United’s rising prospects.
Ibrahimovic, barring his obvious impact on the pitch, is also at United because of the experience and enthusiasm he brings to the club. With Bastian Schweinsteiger seemingly on the outside looking in, Ibrahimovic provides the perfect addition of exuberance, combined with a player who still seems to be playing his best football and working his hardest. Watching him on a football pitch, though, it would be easy for one to believe he is just 27 or 28 because he is in impeccable physical condition.
Odds are, Ibrahimovic could be at the club for up to four years before as a player before he finally becomes a coach, with the likes of Rashford and Martial eventually replacing him. For now, though, United fans should just relax and enjoy his Cantona-esque persona, along with his incredibly outstanding footballing ability. This is a player who has scored 378 career goals from all around Europe- with incredible consistency, flair, and strength, Ibrahimovic possesses the ability to be the best United striker of the decade, alongside Robin van Persie.