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Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return in 2020?

Club, player to decide after the season

Sporting KC v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Recently ESPN Deportes reported the LA Galaxy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will mutually decide the future of the soon-to-be 38-year old striker at the end of the 2019 MLS season.

“We’ve agreed that after the season we will evaluate and look calmly at his personal situation and that of the team,” te Kloese said in Spanish.

“Zlatan is a very special case. If you watched on Sunday how he helped the team, he is committed to the club, to the fans and it is very special, it’s a luxury to have him.”

What they didn’t tell you is the decision was made after a 45 minute closed-door meeting with general manager Dennis te Kloese last week, as reported by the LA Times’ Kevin Baxter on the Corner of the Galaxy podcast.

Though it is typical for player meetings to run that long, with 28 goals this season and Zlatan seemingly happy in LA, there has been increased speculation Ibra could stay with the Galaxy for another year.

First and foremost is Ibra’s fitness: Can Zlatan continue perform at an elite level? The team’s limitations with Ibrahimovic on the pitch have been well-documented. It’s also no secret the outspoken striker is frustrated with the league officiating among other issues.

On the flip side, if Zlatan can continue to perform and the Galaxy want him back, why would he leave? Ibrahimovic knows Dennis te Kloese and Guillermo Barros Schelotto have gone to great pains to build a team capable of winning trophies, and with the addition of Cristian Pavón plus potential reinforcements over the winter (but especially Pavon), Ibra likely believes in the project. Why not see it through?

At the very least, the announcement is designed to quell further speculation. For now, all is quiet on the Western front.