Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has claimed the “Premier League are begging me to stay” amid reports that he has agreed to sign for LA Galaxy.
The 35-year-old has proved a big hit in England since arriving at Old Trafford on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain last summer, scoring 26 goals in 41 games.
But Ibrahimovic’s one-year contract expires at the end of the season and, despite last week hinting he will take up the option of a further 12 months at United, his future is still up in the air.
Recent reports have emerged from America suggesting Ibrahimovic will join MLS side LA Galaxy in the summer, but sources told ESPN FC on Monday that the chances of the 35-year-old heading to MLS are “50-50” and that the deal is “not close at this point.”.
Yet, in an interview with BT Sport, the former Sweden international said: “I came here as a 35-year-old. Everybody thought I was in a wheelchair. What happened? The lion is still alive and that’s the way it is.
“I have proved what everyone has said is wrong. I don’t hear the talk anymore, it is not fun anymore, because the haters became like fans and even like believers.
“I am 35, 36 in a couple of months, which is proven as just a number. I keep going and make the other one look older than me.
“I know the Premier League is begging me to stay. I came here, I said I needed one year and it took me three months, what I wanted.
“How I feel today, I don’t know if I will feel like this next year.”
Jose Mourinho’s side are fifth in the Premier League, four points off the top four with a game in hand, which is uncharted territory for serial title-winner Ibrahimovic.
“I am a lion. The table is not lying. The team is where it is because it is where it is,” he said.
“Top four for me … the last time I came second I don’t even remember it, probably in Milan. It was the first position of the last ones. I don’t really like. It is a failure.
“Whatever comes after the first one is a failure. But we still have other trophies to play for. We are still doing the best we can, and we still want more.”
Ibrahimovic has thought about life after football, possibly following in the footsteps of former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona.
“Eric is Eric. Zlatan is Zlatan. I come with a different package and I come with what I am able to do,” the Swede added.
“People remember him for the rest of their life for what he did here. People will remember for what I did.
“The only thing he did that I haven’t yet is acting. I am also curious to be an actor. Something like Bourne Identity, something like a secret agent, the new James Bond! Why not?”
Ibrahimovic told MUTV: “A lot of things have to be settled. It’s not like I’m 20 and I have another five or 10 years.
“Probably I have one, two, three years so everything depends on what you want and what the club wants, what the vision of the club is because I said from day one I didn’t come here to waste time, I came here to win.
“If you want to win bigger then you have to create bigger.
“I came here without the Champions League. I came here with the team as it was. It was not a team that was favourite to win.
“I still came. I came to help. I came to do what I am able to do. To make it better. To bring the team to higher views so let’s see what happens.”
On contract talks, he added: “If I had something to say I would already have said it. We are talking. Whether we were far from each other or close to each other, there is no news.
“There are still talks and let’s see what will happen. I am open. Nothing is done yet.”