Advertisement
Soccer

AC Milan to sign former Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Galaxy midfielder Zlatan Ibrahimovic kicks the ball against the Minnesota United during the first half of an MLS first-round playoff match on Oct. 20 in St. Paul, Minn.
Galaxy midfielder Zlatan Ibrahimovic kicks the ball against the Minnesota United during the first half of an MLS first-round playoff match on Oct. 20 in St. Paul, Minn.
(Andy Clayton-King / Associated Press)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has reportedly found a new home. And it’s one with which the former Galaxy captain is very familiar.

According to media reports in Italy, AC Milan agreed Thursday to sign the former Swedish international to a six-month contract on a free transfer, six weeks after Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy decided on mutual separation. Terms of the deal, which could be announced as earlier as Friday, were not immediately available. Ibrahimovic, 38, played two seasons for Milan, helping the team to a Serie A title in 2010-11 and leading the league in goals the next season.

Milan was the preferred destination of Ibrahimovic and his Italian agent, Mino Raiola, from even before the player tweeted out his decision to leave the Galaxy last month. But the talks stalled over the length and value of the deal with at least one Italian newspaper saying Ibrahimovic wanted a guaranteed 18-month deal.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be returning to the Galaxy, the team confirmed Wednesday, ending speculation over the MLS future of the 38-year-old superstar.
Advertisement

Milan responded with a six-month contract worth about $2.2 million dollars, or $5 million less than he made with the Galaxy in 2019.

The team didn’t appear inclined to budge, reportedly answering with a Dec. 25 deadline to accept its offer and scheduling a meeting with Raiola for Thursday.

Milan went into the Italian leagues holiday break 11th in the 20-team table, much closer to relegation than it is to first-place Inter Milan, its cross-town rival. The team’s first game of 2020 is Jan. 6 at home against Sampdoria.

Earlier this month, as the Milan talk waned, Ibrahimovic was linked to English Premier League club Everton, whose owner, British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, craves big names and saw Ibrahimovic as someone who could give his club relevance during a season in which neighborhood rivals Liverpool is running away with the title. But those rumors, never considered serious, were nixed when new Everton coach Carlo Ancelotti said earlier this week that Ibrahimovic can “come to Liverpool to enjoy he can come -- but not to play.”

Advertisement

Ibrahimovic, just one of three active players with 500 career goals for club and country after Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, last played in Europe with England’s Manchester United in the 2017-18 season. He spent two years in MLS, scoring 52 times in 56 regular-season matches, making two all-star teams and leading the Galaxy back to the playoffs last fall. His $7.2-million salary last season was the highest in league history.


Newsletter
All about the beautiful game

Go inside the L.A. pro soccer scene and beyond in Kevin Baxter's weekly newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
Advertisement