The ever reliable Kevin Baxter at the LA Times has fished out more details concerning the Galaxy’s pursuit of Manchester United superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
From what Baxter has gathered, it appears the opening for LA to capture Zlatan’s signature first arose when Manchester United were reluctant to sign the mercurial striker to a 2-year-deal.
Ibrahimovic, who already has more money than he can spend, has long expressed an interest in MLS, and Southern California offers him something no other area in the world can: the chance to be a Hollywood star. Both critics and friends agree the only thing bigger than Ibrahimovic’s talent is his ego, which is why no one was sure if he was joking last spring when he offered to stay with Paris Saint-Germaine if the city replaced the Eiffel Tower with a statue of him.
A move to the U.S. would also give Ibrahimovic and his sponsors a chance to expand their brand into the fastest-growing soccer market in the world.
Plus the Galaxy is the best-known franchise in MLS, one that has a history of bold moves and one that has proven adept at incorporating big-name players, having already welcomed David Beckham, Keane, Gerrard, Dos Santos and Ashley Cole.
All of which sounds good, but the lure of Champions League football could be too much for Ibrahimovic to move.
Man United could make those calculations go away by qualifying for the next Champions League, the one major club championship Ibrahimovic has never won. A chance to tick that box would cement his return to Old Trafford, but to qualify the team must win the Europa League (it’s in the round of 16) or finish in the top four in the Premier League, where it stands sixth, three points out of the top four, with 12 games to play.
So if you’re a Galaxy fan, you basically need to be rooting against Manchester United.