Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has claimed the “Premier League are begging me to stay” amid reports that he has agreed to sign for Los Angeles Galaxy.
The 35-year-old has proved a big hit in England since arriving at Old Trafford on a free transfer from Paris St Germain last summer, scoring 26 goals in 41 games.
But Ibrahimovic’s one-year contract expires at the end of the season and, despite last week hinting he will take up the option of a further 12 months at United, his future is still up in the air.
Recent reports have emerged from America suggesting Ibrahimovic will join MLS side LA Galaxy in the summer as his glittering career starts to wind down.
Yet, in an interview with BT Sport, the former Sweden international said: “I came here as a 35-year-old. Everybody thought I was in a wheelchair. What happened? The lion is still alive and that’s the way it is.
“I have proved what everyone has said is wrong. I don’t hear the talk any more, it is not fun any more, because the haters became like fans and even like believers.
“I am 35, 36 in a couple of months, which is proven as just a number. I keep going and make the other one look older than me. I know the Premier League is begging me to stay. I came here, I said I needed one year and it took me three months, what I wanted. How I feel today, I don’t know if I will feel like this next year.”
Jose Mourinho’s side are fifth in the Premier League, five points off the top four with a game in hand, which is uncharted territory for serial title winner Ibrahimovic.
“I am a lion. The table is not lying. The team is where it is because it is where it is,” he said.
“Top four for me…the last time I came second I don’t even remember it, probably in Milan. It was the first position of the last ones. I don’t really like. It is a failure. Whatever comes after the first one is a failure. But we still have other trophies to play for. We are still doing the best we can, and we still want more.”
Ibrahimovic has thought about life after football, possibly following in the footsteps of former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona.
“Eric is Eric. Zlatan is Zlatan. I come with a different package and I come with what I am able to do,” the Swede added.
“People remember him for the rest of their life for what he did here. People will remember for what I did.
“The only thing he did that I haven’t yet is acting. I am also curious to be an actor. Something like Bourne Identity, something like a secret agent, the new James Bond! Why not?”