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.”
Manchester United vs Stoke player ratings
David de Gea
Didn’t have much to do but fluffed his lines when called upon and let Stoke equalise. 5
Not overly busy and managed to keep his shirt rigorously tucked in all game. 6
A solid game, continues to impress. 6
Not much to do but reliable enough. 6
Give us this day our Daley Blind. The versatile Dutchman was reliable as ever. 6
Should he have been sent off? Let Robbie Savage debate that. As it was he had a decent game. 6
What does £100m get you these days? A decent if largely uninspiring game against Stoke, that’s what. 6
Jesse Lingard: An encouraging performance before being subbed in the second half. 6
An encouraging performance before being subbed in the second half. 6
Subbed for Rooney in the second half, but solid enough before that. 6
Oh he’s quite good isn’t he? Always lively but couldn’t get on the scoresheet. 6
Denied on multiple occasions, a frustrating afternoon, particularly for anyone who made him their Fantasy Football captain. 6
He might have a name straight out of a 90s boyband but he had a stormer in goal. 8
Lively going forward, occasionally suspect in defence – I feel like we know this about Glen Johnson by now. 6
Largely kept United at bay, solid enough. 6
Bruno Martins Indi
Continues to look a good signing for Stoke. 6
Reliable if a little uninspiring. 6
Unlucky that his great tackle provided the assist for United’s goal. 6
Played to the best of his abilities but wasn’t exactly superlative. 6
The Alpine Messi? Not on the basis of this. Could do better. 6
Smashed it in from a yard out to equalise, got fouled a lot. Solid game. 7
Sulked quite a lot and got subbed in the second half. Not his best game. 6
Where is the striker who terrified defences at Swansea? Not here today. 6
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.”