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Zlatan Ibrahimovic refused $100 million Chinese offer to join LA Galaxy

That’s a lot of yuan

When the LA Times printed the full-page ad with the words “Dear Los Angeles, you’re welcome” to christen Zlatan’s impeding arrival, it was obviously topical but there had to be some depth to what he was saying, right?

Well, now we know. (As if Saturday’s brilliance weren’t enough)

Grant Wahl had a chat with Jovan Kirovski recently, and the LA Galaxy technical director revealed some interesting info.

How much money did Zlatan Ibrahimovic turn down to sign with the LA Galaxy instead of going to China? A whopping $97 million, I’m told.

According to Jovan Kirovski, the LA Galaxy technical director who did the most work to sign Ibrahimovic, the big Swede had a multiyear offer from China even after his knee injury that would have paid him $100 million total.

Kirovski said the hardest part of the deal was explaining to Ibra’s superagent, Mino Raiola, why he could only pay Ibra $1.5 million a year. Raiola’s first response was: “Are you serious?” But Ibra in the end decided he didn’t need the money at this stage of his career. Kirovski swears, by the way, that there aren’t any side deals from Galaxy sponsors to sweeten the pot for Zlatan.

Apparently Ibra really wanted to be in LA.