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Chelsea, Milan to battle it out over Zlatan Ibrahimovic - report

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Ibrahimovic and Mourinho only worked together for a year at Inter Milan, but that was enough to make Zlatan a huge fan for life of the manager.  And now they might get a reunion at Stamford Bridge, as ESPN Deportes reports Chelsea want to sign the ten-times Sweden's Football Player of the Year on a free transfer by the end of his contract. In the chase are also his former club AC Milan.

According to the report, Zlatan and his agent Mino Raiola travelled to Qatar earlier this year to meet PSG's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and solve the player's contractual situation. Raiola and Zlatan were seeking either a two-year extension on his current deal, which will end in 2016, or an early break of the contract so he could move to Milan. They left the meeting with only a wage adjustment to account for France's changes in their tax code, which also diminished Zlatan's purchasing power.

Milan's current manager Sinisa Mihajlovic and vice-president Adriano Galliani are two of his biggest backers for a return to San Siro but they know they won't be able to meet Chelsea's terms to Ibrahimovic. Either way, Chelsea or Milan would be his last step towards his retirement or a move to MLS.  He had claimed in the past his interest in ending his career in the United States.

Securing Zlatan on a Bosman transfer isn't a bad idea but it means he wouldn't be set to arrive in the current season - unless Chelsea reaches an agreement with PSG over a reasonable transfer fee for a player with six months left on his contact, which is unlikely. Another issue would be how much of a pay-cut he would be willing to take to move to Chelsea, since he's earning €14 million in net wages per year at PSG.

But even though he's already 34, he's shown at Ligue 1 that he still has some goals and tricks left on his tank. Let's hope he can save some of them for the Premier League next season.

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