Zlatan Ibrahimovic can play for ’another five or six years’, says Mino Raiola

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is stronger now than ever and can play for “another five or six years”, according to his agent Mino Raiola.

The Swede re-signed for United on a one-year contract in the summer after his debut season in England, in which he scored 28 goals in 46 games, was cut short after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in April.

However, Raiola is starting to look beyond Ibrahimovic’s comeback this term and joked that he cannot let the former AC Milan and Barcelona forward stop playing

“He has so much in him. I think minimum another five or six years,” Raiola told Expressen when asked how much longer Ibrahimovic can keep playing.

“I won’t let him stop, he needs to work now for me. I have been working for him for years now. Now it’s my turn. My children are grown up and I need money.

“We have agreed that for the next five years he is only working for me. So we’re flipping it now. The salary comes to me and he gets the commission.

Ibrahimovic has posted numerous updates on his rehabilitation on social media, with Jose Mourinho saying last week that he is confident the 36-year-old will be available for United before the end of the year.

And Raiola has claimed that Ibrahimovic is even stronger now than he was before the injury he sustained in the Europa League quarter-final win over Anderlecht last season.

“Zlatan would never be broken by this injury. He is not a person who moans about himself during this injury. He is a person who takes this injury and turns it into something that makes him stronger, better and more complete,” he said.

“I didn’t think he could be stronger, but it made him even stronger. He’s stronger than he was before. Obviously, I was sad [about the injury], because he had a fantastic season. But I do not have much time to be sad because my role is a different one. I was sad, not for me, but for him.

“I knew this would be a new fantastic chapter, that’s how I took it, because this guy is amazing. He’s crazy because he said he had nothing. No pain, nothing. He did not believe anything. But I knew it was more serious.”

Raiola says that Dr Freddie Fu, the specialist who operated on Ibrahimovic, has been so impressed by the striker that he wants to conduct research on his knee.

“In his opinion, he has never seen a knee that is so strong and clean after a career that Zlatan has had, having had the hits he has had,” Raiola said.

“This is a professor who treats top athletes all over the world and works with an American football team and he says he has never seen anything like that. For a person who, for the last 40 years of his life, has been involved in knees, he has found it is the best knee he has ever seen.”

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