Jose Mourinho ‘hints’ 28-goal striker will play for Man Utd next season

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly open to the prospect of re-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic once he returns to full fitness at the turn of the year. The Sweden international bagged 28 goals across all competitions for the Red Devils last term, while bagging the man of the match in the EFL Cup triumph.

However, his season was curtailed in April after he sustained a double knee damage which has ruled him out until the end of November at least. United decided to release Ibrahimovic from his contract earlier last month, but Mourinho appears to hint that Ibrahimovic could have a key role to play in the second half of the campaign.

“We spent big money on a striker because, with strikers, you either spend [big] or you don’t get,” Mourinho said, via The Times. “And we spent because of what happened to Zlatan and we cannot allow ourselves to be without an important, strong striker for the first six months of the season.”

Lukaku joined the Red Devils from Everton for an initial fee of £75m, and he is expected to handle the burden of being the main striker with the likes of Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Martial likely to provide him company.

Mourinho has not had a good record of grooming young players into the first-team squad, but Portuguese coach is confident that the likes of Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay and Demetri Mitchell can become regulars in the first-team squad similarly to Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, who also came through the club’s academy.

“Probably in a few years Man United will also have half a dozen of these kids (in the team). I think Scott and Demetri are also kids to have a future in the club and Andreas Pereira is back. So when the kids are good and have potential, there is no problem,” he added.

Manchester United are still on the search for at least two players in the current transfer window with Mourinho wanting a central midfielder and a winger in his ranks ahead of the new Premier League season.

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