Boban: ‘Milan must keep Ibrahimovic’

by | Feb 29, 2020 10:59

Director Zvonimir Boban reveals how Zlatan Ibrahimovic told Milan he had agreed to the transfer and why they ought to be discussing his contract renewal "right now."

The 38-year-old striker had other offers on the table after his contract with the LA Galaxy expired, but opted for a return to the last club he represented in Italy.

“Paolo (Maldini) called him first, then I continued the talks partly because of the language, but also the Balkan character we both share,” Boban told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Director Zvonimir Boban reveals how Zlatan Ibrahimovic told Milan he had agreed to the transfer and why they ought to be discussing his contract renewal "right now."

The 38-year-old striker had other offers on the table after his contract with the LA Galaxy expired, but opted for a return to the last club he represented in Italy.

“Paolo (Maldini) called him first, then I continued the talks partly because of the language, but also the Balkan character we both share,” Boban told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It was amusing when he called me at around 10pm on Christmas Eve and said: ‘Boban, congratulations to Milan, you have got Ibrahimovic. Merry Christmas and see you soon.’

“The all-clear from London (and club owners Elliott Management) came almost immediately. We hope to carry on together.”

Ibra’s contract only runs until June and there is an option to extend automatically if they qualify for the Champions League.

As that seems unlikely right now, they would have to negotiate a new deal with the Swede, but Boban admits all these decisions are up in the air.

“Everyone can see the impact Zlatan has had. He is a special player, I think there are no doubts we ought to start discussing the issue of a possible renewal for next season, regardless of the final team results, and we should be doing it now.

“The same goes for Asmir Begovic and Simon Kjaer, experienced players who have made Milan more solid and it’s probable they could do in the next seasons too.”

Boban’s interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport was essentially an ultimatum to owners Elliott to choose between CEO Ivan Gazidis and the Boban-Paolo Maldini partnership.

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