MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Jose Mourinho says he is convinced striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will extend his stay at Manchester United beyond this season.
The 35-year-old former Sweden international has enjoyed a fruitful first campaign in English football and has netted 20 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions.
Ibrahimovic joined United on a free transfer from French champions Paris St Germain, signing a one-year deal in July with the option of extending his contract for a second season.
“He came with intention of staying two years and the first year is going better than every expectation,” United manager Mourinho said Friday.
“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.”
Ibrahimovic has clearly enjoyed teaming up again with Mourinho, having worked under him when the Portuguese was in charge of Inter Milan in 2008-09.
The Swede, who netted 50 goals in his last season at PSG, has been able to replicate his clinical finishing at United.
He scored with a stunning scissor kick three minutes into his debut in a friendly against Galatasaray, hit a late winner against Leicester to land United the Community Shield in August, the traditional curtain-raiser to the season, then marked his first Premier League start with a long-range strike against Bournemouth.
The former Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and AC Milan forward became the oldest player to score 15 goals in a Premier League season when he netted in last weekend’s win against Leicester.
That hot streak is now set to continue next season with Mourinho saying: “I am convinced he is staying. No problem with his family. I offer him extra days off to go to Sweden, he never goes.”
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