Los Angeles: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s long talks with AC Milan this autumn never came close to getting the Italian team a new player. But they managed to get5 Ibrahimovic a new contract with LA Galaxy, one that will make him a designated player.
Days after AC Milan sporting director Leonardo said conversations with his club regarding a winter loan had come to an end, it has been confirmed thar Ibrahimovic has a new deal that will keep him with the Galaxy at a substantial raise from the $1.5 million (Dh5.51 million) he was paid in 2018.
The club declined to comment. The official announcement is not expected until next week.
December is turning out to be a busy month for the Galaxy, who formally introduced Dennis te Kloese, a former Chivas USA executive, as general manager on Tuesday and are close to hiring former Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter in the same capacity.
Bringing Ibrahimovic back for a second season was the Galaxy’s off-season priority even before they signed a coach or general manager. But finding money to do that has proven difficult. Under current MLS salary rules, the Galaxy cannot pay him more than $1.5 million without giving him one of the team’s three DP spots, a designation that wouldn’t limit what he could earn.
The team’s current DPs — Romain Alessandrini and brothers Gio and Jonathan dos Santos — are all signed through next season so to open a spot for Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy would have to trade, loan or restructure the contract of one of the three before rosters are set in March.
In 27 appearances in his first MLS season Ibrahimovic, 37, was second in the league with 22 goals and shared the team lead with 10 assists. A month ago, he indicated his desire to get a deal done with the Galaxy but said the team needed to change their front office and coaching staff to prove they were sincere about winning.
“He gave his word to Galaxy that he would stay if they satisfied his conditions, and they did so,” AC Milan’s Leonardo said. (Los Angeles Times)