Ibrahimovic reportedly considering move to MLS

Zlatan Ibrahimovic during a game for Man UMajor League Soccer might be about to add one of this generation’s greatest goal-scorers to its ranks. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is reportedly close to signing with LA Galaxy, and it’s a move that makes sense for both parties considering the 36-year-old’s diminished role with Manchester United and the MLS desire for star power.

The Swedish international was once a highlight machine, scoring goals with reckless abandon in his youth and doing so in ways most other players could only dream of, but age finally caught up with him at Manchester, where injuries and transfers for younger forwards like Alexis Sanchez have knocked him down the depth chart. Ibrahimovic hasn’t played since December and United manager Jose Mourinho said it is an issue of fitness, not injury. The Premier League club appears ready to move on from his services to the point of helping a deal get made before the closure of the January transfer window, and MLS is the next logical step that so many veterans before Ibrahimovic have taken.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the ESPN report linking Ibrahimovic with Galaxy is how he would be signed by the MLS club. Rather than using up a designated player spot, which are normally used by MLS clubs signing international stars in order to get around the league’s restrictive salary cap, Galaxy reportedly found a way to fit Ibrahimovic into the budget using targeted allocation money. Landing Ibrahimovic without sacrificing a designated player spot would be a huge get for Galaxy, who won the last of their record five MLS Cups in 2014 but missed the playoffs last year for the first time in nine seasons.

Ibrahimovic and Galaxy were also linked in transfer rumours last year before a knee injury sidelined everything. ESPN’s sources caution the deal is not yet done this time around, but United seem motivated to make it happen. The only thing working against them - and Ibrahimovic - is time.