Ibrahimovic set for LA Galaxy return

Zlatan Ibrahimovic intends to be back with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2019 after considering a return to AC Milan, sporting director Leonardo told reporters on Sunday.

AC Milan attempted to bring the star forward back to Italy, but the Galaxy met Ibrahimovic’s requests, according to Leonardo.

“He gave his word to Galaxy that he would stay if they satisfied his conditions, and they did so,” Leonardo said after Milan played a 0-0 draw with Torino in Serie A play on Sunday.

“It would have been a really lovely story because it would have given a significant weight to the team. We can’t deny that both parties thought of it, but it will not be possible.”

Ibrahimovic was an immediate star for the Galaxy in his first MLS season. He scored 22 goals — second in MLS — and added 10 assists in 27 matches and was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year. He also had the 2018 Goal of the Year — a 40-yard strike for his first MLS goal, moments after first taking the field — and was the only player to have two nominations for the award.

The 37-year-old had one hat trick and scored two goals on five other occasions. He in under contract with the Galaxy through the 2019 season, something Los Angeles technical director Jovan Kirovski recently pointed out as speculation increased.

“Ibrahimovic’s contract isn’t expiring, he still has a year on his contract with us,” Kirovski told reporters. “We want him to be happy in our team and we are working to ensure that he can continue playing for the Galaxy.

”He’s a special player, unique for us. To score so many goals and provide so many assists at his age, after the (knee) injury at Manchester United, is incredible. There are many excellent players, but no one is like him.”

Ibrahimovic previously played two seasons for AC Milan from 2010-12 and scored 42 goals in 61 appearances.