The 39-year-old Swedish striker, who currently collects the largest paycheck among the Rossoneri with a net €7 million/year wage, will renew the terms of his deal with Milan for another Serie A season, according to Italy’s daily Gazzetta dello Sport.
Based on what Milan technical director Paolo Maldini told SkySport over the weekend, negotiations between the player and the club are in their final stage.
After a two-year stint with the Rossoneri from 2010 to 2012, Ibrahimović returned to Milan in January 2020.
He was immediately crucial in helping a struggling Milan side find its team identity and, most importantly, build winning habits. Manager Stefano Pioli has multiple times highlighted the importance of Ibrahimović’s charisma in offering strong leadership to a roster that is largely made up of young players.
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Ibrahimović, who will turn 40 on October 3, combines savviness, experience and an evergreen ability to be lethal in the penalty box.
In this 2020/21 Serie A campaign, his numbers tell that age is not preventing him from continuing to be a difference maker in Italian soccer: Despite having missed some games due to soft-tissue injuries and a coronavirus infection, Ibrahimović has so far scored 15 goals in 17 league appearances with Milan.
To his impressive goal-scoring statistics, Ibrahimović adds unique technical abilities in the air: His signature taekwondo skills allow him to reach impressive heights with his feet and make spectacular, acrobatic plays with the ball. And while his running pace might have slowed in recent years, his physical prowess (he is 6-foot-4 and weighs 209 pounds) and high soccer IQ make him one of the most dangerous forwards in Serie A, which is why Milan are so eager to sign him for another year.
Ibrahimović, who has never won the UEFA Champions League in his career, is determined to feature once again in the most ambitious tournament in European soccer.
To earn that privilege, Milan, who currently occupy the second place in the Serie A table, will have to finish this season in one of the top-4 positions, a target that the Rossoneri have been missing since 2013.
Considering that the Scudetto is realistically out of reach, Milan are now focused on securing one of the remaining three highly-coveted UEFA Champions League spots.
They will have to watch themselves from fierce competition, as another five teams are in the race for a top-4 finish: Juventus, Atalanta, Napoli, Lazio and Roma all stand within eight points just below Milan in the Serie A table.
Ibrahimović is one of three major contract renewals that Milan are trying to finalize between now and the beginning of the 2021/22 Serie A season, with the other two hot names being Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Çalhanoğlu.
Donnarumma, the 22-year-old goalkeeper that already boasts more than 200 Serie A matches, is expected to receive a significant increase to his €6 million annual salary, which would make him the highest-paid player in Milan. Donnarumma and Ibrahimović, the two highest earners among the Rossoneri, are both represented by soccer agent Mino Raiola.
Attacking midfielder Çalhanoğlu, who has so far recorded eight assists and two goals in this Serie A season, is in talks with the club and is likewise looking to increase the size of his €2.5 million annual wage.
Meanwhile, Ibrahimović will not be able to start on top of Milan’s attack in the Serie A game against Genoa on Sunday, April 18. He has to endure a one-match suspension following a red card received during last weekend’s match against Parma.