Legendary striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be about to sign for his fourth different Italian club following comments made by Napoli’s president.
The former Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan striker is current playing for MLS side LA Galaxy but will be free to join a new club in December, upon the end of the play-offs.
And it looks like Naples could be the Swede’s next destination with Aurelio De Laurentiis claiming that signing Ibrahimovic is “more than just a suggestion”.
“[Ibrahimovic] is a friend, I met him in Los Angeles not as a footballer but as a normal person because we were in the same hotel,” De Laurentiis told Sky in Italy.
“I invited him over for dinner with his wife and kids and we had an amazing time.
“It would be my wish to see him in Napoli colours, it’s more than a suggestion and it depends on him. It’s been talked about for a few months now.”
Ibrahimovic, 38, is in the twilight years of his career but shows no sign of hanging up his boots yet.
The former Manchester United man suggested in an interview with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that he is ready for a new challenge in his ‘second home’ Italy.
“I am 38 years old and the enthusiasm of a boy, with the same desire to win,” he said. “I don’t think about my future yet, I will calmly evaluate with my family. To continue [playing], as I say, I have to find something special, that can keep the fire inside me alive: here or elsewhere.
“Italy is my second home, I experienced unforgettable moments there. I would like to go in a team that fights for the title, I can still make a difference. I’m not some sort of zoo animal that people go and see, I can still hit 20 goals per season.
“I appreciated the last documentary dedicated to [Diego] Maradona – nobody is like him. Seeing the passion and love of that city almost makes me want to try out an experience in Naples.
“It would be fantastic to replicate what Diego did.
“I’m not saying I’ll be going there, the final decision will depend on many factors, but it’s a city that creates a lot of enthusiasm. With me, the San Paolo would sell out every week. And [Napoli boss Carlo] Ancelotti is there, he’s a football great.”
Ancelotti himself has expressed his admiration for Ibrahimovic and even joked he would give him a call after seeing his statements in the Italian media.
“I’ll call him tonight and say we’re waiting!” Ancelotti told Sky in Italy after Napoli’s win over Verona on Saturday.
“I have a great deal of affection for him, I saw he scored 29 goals in 30 MLS games. Tomorrow, after I’ve called him, I’ll let you know how it went!”