Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future at Manchester United is in some doubt after he was listed as being released by the club on an official list published by the Premier League on Friday.
The 35-year-old – who starred for United last season scoring 28 goals in 46 matches before a knee ligament injury ended his campaign prematurely – could still be retained by United should they decide to renew his contract which is up on June 30th.
“Premier League clubs from the 2016/17 season have submitted the lists of players they will be keeping in their squads, and the ones they will be releasing,” read the EPL statement.
“Premier League rules require all clubs to submit their retained and released lists to the Premier League by the third Saturday in May, unless the circumstances set out in Rule U.33 apply.
“Please note that players signified as a “free transfer” or released by a club on the expiry of their contract on 30 June 2017, could still remain there next season and so this list should not be seen as definitive for players leaving their club.”
Ibrahimovic, who scored twice as United beat Southampton in the League Cup final but was injured by the time they lifted the Europa League, underwent an operation on the knee ligament in the United States in early May.
Once he returns to full fitness, which is forecast for 2018, one of the two surgeons who performed the operation predicted Ibrahimovic playing on for many years to come.
“He’s so healthy, so strong, biologically, bone morphology, everything, is absolutely very healthy,”, Freddie Fu, chairman of the department of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, told the South China Morning Post.
“He can still play for many years,” added the Hong Kong-born Fu.
Liverpool might have spent the first three months of the last season looking like genuine title contenders, but they eventually ran out of fuel as the season progressed.
Although, Liverpool are gradually re-establishing under Klopp. While his team was arguably the weakest of the top six on paper, it will be interesting to see how they get on next season.
While other top competitors will be spending big, the question is, will Liverpool match them?
This video (below) from Copa90’s YouTube channel, lists six ways Klopp can make the Reds great again.
Leicester have confirmed Craig Shakespeare as their new full-time manager on a three-year deal.
The Foxes had been in talks with Shakespeare since the end of the season last month and have now struck a deal after he took over on a short-term basis in February.
Shakespeare told the club’s official site: “This is a really exciting opportunity for me to continue along this new path in my career and to continue to work with a club and a group of staff I’ve grown extremely close to. I’m grateful to the owners and the board of directors for their continued faith and support.”
Shakespeare replaced Claudio Ranieri as boss until the end of the season after the Italian was sacked in February.
The 2016 Premier League champions were just a point above the relegation zone but Shakespeare won five straight league games to pull them away from trouble.
The Foxes eventually finished 12th with Shakespeare winning eight of his 16 games in charge in all competitions, losing five and drawing three.
He also helped them into the quarter finals of the Champions League, beating Sevilla 2-0 in their second round second leg to win 3-2 on aggregate.
The Foxes lost 2-1 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid in the last eight.
Leicester City vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “Craig has shown all the qualities in leadership, motivation and talent management that are required to be successful in this role.
“Those qualities, aligned with his first class coaching acumen, his knowledge of Leicester City and its philosophy, and the respect he has earned at every level of the club make him the ideal choice to help take us forward.
“Our primary objective for the coming years is to successfully translate the extraordinary experiences of the last two seasons into lessons that will strengthen and enhance the club’s pursuit of its long-term vision of sustainable success.
“Continuity is among the key elements to making such a process work. Over the last nine years, Craig has built a unique insight into the catalysts for success at Leicester City, its impact on our personnel and the conditions needed to ensure its longevity.”
Shakespeare was part of ex-boss Nigel Pearson’s backroom team during two spells at the King Power Stadium and stayed at the club after Pearson’s exit in 2015.
He was Ranieri’s assistant as the pair helped mastermind last year’s shock title success after being 5,000-1 to win the league at the start of the campaign.
Shakespeare’s biggest focus will be on summer recruitment with Riyad Mahrez reportedly wanting to leave the club and the Foxes linked with Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.