Jose Mourinho is convinced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will stay at Manchester United next season and end his top-flight career at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola claimed last week that the Swedish star could move to Napoli, while the 35-year-old striker has also been offered £1million-a-week to play in the Chinese Super League.
But Mourinho is certain that Ibrahimovic will accept United’s offer to trigger the one-year option on the contract he signed last summer after scoring 20 goals so far in his first season in English football.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to extend his stay at Manchester United beyond next season
Jose Mourinho expects Ibrahimovic to accept United’s offer to trigger a one-year deal option
‘I’m totally convinced that he will stay,’ said Mourinho.
‘He came with the intention of staying for two years but in the minds of everyone the first year is going better than every expectation.
‘He knows we are going to try again to improve next season and try to share with him in a fantastic way probably the last year of his career at the highest level, so I’m convinced that he’s staying.
‘He’s adapted to the club and to the situation. I don’t see any problem with his family. I gave him the possibility of a next day off to relax, to go to Sweden, and he doesn’t want. So I’m totally convinced he is going to stay.’
United face Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday having lost just once in the Premier League since a disastrous 3-1 defeat at Vicarage Road in September.
The 35-year-old has scored 20 goals so far in his first season in English football
Mourinho says he’s ‘totally convinced’ that the Swedish striker will be at Old Trafford next term
The Portuguese boss was speaking ahead of United’s league clash with Watford on Saturday
Mourinho was furious about a challenge on Anthony Martial in the build-up to Watford’s first goal by Etienne Capoue 11 minutes before half-time, and warned his players to be wary of another upset this time.
‘I was very angry with the first goal,’ recalled the United boss, who will again be without defender Phil Jones with a foot injury. ‘I was very angry because Martial had to leave the pitch with a very strong tackle. We had the possibility of concussion and he didn’t play the next match. But it was not a foul, it was a goal.
‘And that was in our hands then before half-time. He gave the opponent the possibility to be winning 1-0 so, yes, I was really upset. Then we had a very good reaction, we played with lots of attacking players and more. We equalised and we were almost winning.
Anthony Martial was injured in the build-up to Watford’s opening goal vs United in September
‘That also made me angry because we knew already that Watford is a team that defends with a lot of players, but they have this capacity to be very dangerous un the counter attack.
‘The moments are a bit different. That moment was a period where we lost a match before, against Manchester City, and in this case we are having – I don’t say the perfect results – but we are in the moment of being unbeatable for a long time, so we are positive.
‘But we know the game will be very difficult. Walter (Mazzarri) is a very good coach, the team is well organised and then they have the capacity on the counter-attack and set-pieces. They have the knowhow, they have the experience, many players are coming from important clubs with great knowledge of high competition, so I am waiting for a difficult match.’