The ex-Red Devils striker believes the Swede will commit to an extended stay at Old Trafford if a return to European football’s top table is secured
The opportunity to play for “the biggest and best club” in the Champions League will keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The enigmatic Swede has been a revelation at Old Trafford following his arrival as a free agent in the summer of 2016.
Any questions regarding his age and ability to adapt to the demands of English football have been blown out of the water by a 26-goal return.
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The 35-year-old has become a talismanic presence for United, with his value not lost on Jose Mourinho.
Ibrahimovic is, however, yet to commit to an extension beyond the 12-month contract he penned upon agreeing to join the Red Devils.
One-year and two-year options have been mooted, but speculation has also suggested that the prolific frontman could be lured back to Italy at Napoli or to America in MLS.
United legend Solskjaer is aware of the unwelcome speculation, but remains convinced that top European football at a genuine contender for major honours will convince Ibrahimovic to stay put.
The 1999 Treble winner told Expressen: “We hope that we qualify for the Champions League next year.
“Then I expect that Ibrahimovic wants to play on the biggest stage for the best club.
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“There is no better place to play Champions League football than at Manchester United. It is the biggest and best club.”
United still have two routes to the Champions League open to them.
A long unbeaten run in the Premier League has lifted them to within four points of the top four, with two games in hand, while a continental adventure has them preparing for a quarter-final meeting with Anderlecht in the Europa League.