Zlatan Ibrahimovic waves to fans on his arrival in Milan. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has sent football fans in a tizzy about his future plans after the star joined Stockholm club Hammarby in training late on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic, who part-owns the club in Stockholm after buying a 25 per cent stake in November last year, still has a deal with Milan that is scheduled to run until the end of this season. But now with the prevailing coronavirus situation, the 38-year-old former Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, PSG and Manchester United and striker chose to train with Hammarby.

Sweden has embraced a relaxed policy during the current pandemic that has literally shut down the whole world. And while public spaces throughout Europe have emptied out, life in Sweden has carried on at its usual pace with only the vulnerable being advised to isolate while some have chosen to work from home. Sweden has reported more than 9,000 positive cases and nearly 800 have died so far in a country with a population of just 10 million.

While all major football in the country has stopped due to the pandemic at least until the end of April, all clubs involved in the ‘Allsvenskan’ (Sweden’s professional league) were allowed to conduct training sessions normally. Fourth and fifth division clubs were even still playing as normal in pre-season friendlies and cup ties up until last week.

With all football suspended, Ibrahimovic is back home weighing up future options before him. His last appearance for Milan was in his club’s 1-2 loss at home against Genoa on March 8.

Last week, the 38-year-old former winner of the Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch leagues had agreed he wanted to stay in the game after retiring. “I want to learn something new about football, with a different angle,” Ibrahimovic had been quoted in the media.

The Swedish club president Richard Von Yxkull also remained non-committal saying the decision was in the hands of the attacker who has played 116 times for his country before retiring from international duty in 2016.

Ibrahimovic started his career with hometown club Malmo before trophy-laden spells with some of the world’s biggest outfits including Juve, Barca and PSG before re-joining Milan in January 2020.