Milan to Close In On Ibra Deal. Could He Lead Them to Glory?

Zlatan Ibrahimovich is said to be on the verge of extending his stay at Milan.

The Swede turns 39 in October, but after a short and stunning return to Serie A football, the Rossoneri are ready for another year of Zlatan. Seven years after leaving Milan, Zlatan would return after a prosperous stint out in the States.

In 58 MLS games for Los Angeles Galaxy, Ibrahimovich scored a staggering 53 goals – proving that he’s still capable of what he’s long been known for, and earning himself a move back into the European ‘big leagues’.

At first, it looked as though it might have been a “top club too far.” He made a scoring return in his first start for Milan. It earned him several more starts in Serie A under Stefano Pioli and despite notching a handful of goals, it looked as though he might have been slowing down.

Ibrahimovich scored 11 goals in 20 games for Milan in all competitions last season

He picked up an unfortunate injury that kept him out of the first three games of the restart, after which we would see the Zlatan of old. His seven goals in 10 appearances after the Serie A restart would be the talking point of a Milan side who looked as good as they have done in previous campaigns.

Pioli had his side firing on all cylinders – they went unbeaten after the restart, winning all but four of their games to cruise into a 6th-place finished, 15 points clear of 8th-place Sassuolo and having scored a monumental 35 goals in 12 games.

Milan had been notoriously resolute under Pioli early on. They were drawing a lot of games, scoring very few but conceding very few as well. It made for a relatively uninspiring first-half of the season, and the restart seemed to have come at a perfect time for Milan.

They regrouped, prepared for a future under Pioli, and looked a brilliant side in doing so. At the heart of it all was Ibrahimovich – playing and scoring with that familiar face of excitement, and pure adrenaline as he proved to Europe’s best that he was still one of them.

All involved have been keen for Ibrahimovich to extend his stay, at least by a year. His 11 goals in 20 games for Milan in all competitions last season proved his worth, and rumors of a deal have been materializing in recent weeks. Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano confirmed earlier in the month that a deal was close:

Now it’s The Sun reporting that Milan are ready to announce Zlatan’s stay, and the news should certainly excite a lot of Milan fans, but also a lot of Italian football fans too.

Given Pioli’s side after the restart – the form, the number of goals, and how they finally looked to be a team with purpose after some years of disappointment – they could yet be title contenders going into the 2020/21 season.

Juventus only narrowly won the title, and they’ll no doubt be favorites going into the next campaign despite being under the influence of an inexperienced Andrea Pirlo. They’re due for a summer clear out as well, and that could mark the start of a transition phase at the club and potentially allow for someone new to take the Scudetto.

Juventus narrowly won the last title, and they are still favourites

The likes of Inter, Lazio, and Roma will all be gunning for an unexpected title win next season, and not to discount the likes of Atalanta either. Milan though – along with Roma – was the form team to end the season.

Both teams had taken 13 points from their final five games – in which Ibrahimovich scored five – and both look as though they could be a lot stronger next season. Pioli has plenty of work to do in the transfer window and securing Zlatan for another year would be a positive start.

He’s showing no signs of slowing down, and could yet be playing top-flight European football when he turns 40 next year. A true legend of the game, and if he could inspire Milan to crowning glory in the Serie A next season, he could yet become a Rossoneri hero as well.