Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to join Manchester United last summer but says Jose Mourinho’s appointment convinced him otherwise this year.
The Swedish striker was targeted by Louis van Gaal ahead of the 2014/15 season, a campaign which saw United finish outside the Champions League places under the Dutchman, and Ibrahimovic admits it was “not the right moment” to sign at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic said: “There were talks about me coming to United one year ago, that is correct. But I didn’t believe in it then because it was not the right moment.
“Then they get the Special One and when the Special One calls you and when he starts to talk to you, you are already convinced.
“He didn’t need to talk a lot to convince me. It was only enough to call me and say, ‘Listen, I’m waiting for you in Manchester’, and I was coming.
“I know what he wants, his demands and I know what he goes for. He is a winner. I see myself as a winner also. I like to win. I’ll do everything to win. He thinks the same thing.
“We won when we were younger and we will win when we are a little bit older. The more time we spend together, the more time we train together, the better we get.
“At the end, you see the guy who lifts the trophy – you don’t remember the one game, you remember the trophy you lift.”
Ibrahimovic added: “I believe in hard work. You work hard, you get paid back. You don’t work hard, you don’t get anything back.
“And I believe 50 per cent of this sport is in your head, it’s a mental thing. Prepare mentally, you make it easier.
“So, it’s not only about how good your skills are, if you don’t have the mental part, you’re not ready for this world.”