Zlatan Ibrahimovic has decided to remain at Milan for one more year. The Rossoneri expressed their confidence throughout the whole process but the negotiations with Mino Raiola were far from easy.
It’s not exactly a secret that Stefano Pioli needs Ibrahimovic in his starting eleven next season. Across the two spells he has been at the club, the Swede has scored 67 goals in 107 matches. He is still at an impressive level and is a dependable scorer and assists.
Of course, there are high expectations that the Rossoneri will compete for a top-four finish this season considering how the last one ended. They finish 6th in the end but was the second-best team in 2020 with an impressive run of results.
Ibrahimovic’s contribution has clearly been invaluable to the team since he joined in January. Of course, as all the fans said at the start, being able to keep him for one more year is a big bonus.
You can bet that AC Milan will be in the top five at the end of the next season with him leading the charge. If you want to predict how well Zlatan will do next season, you can do so at BetHard.
Did the negotiations take too long?
The negotiations, as we all know, were far from easy and it took weeks to get to where we are now. Perhaps we should have expected this with Mino Raiola, who is notoriously hard to reason with, but it still felt like a very long time.
With the season approaching fast, some fans complained about the Rossoneri’s priorities as they only seemed focused on Ibrahimovic. Now that he finally has renewed, we know that this wasn’t the case at all.
In fact, Paolo Maldini is about to secure three signings (Tiemoue Bakayoko, Brahim Diaz and Sandro Tonali) and the Rossoneri are also about to initiate contract talks with Hakan Calhanoglu. Sure, Ibrahimovic maybe delayed a few things, but that matters little now.
It took a very generous offer
Milan will start their season in less than a month, more specifically September 19, and it will be important to get the players into good shape. As far as the mentality goes, Ibrahimovic will be a key to motivate the squad and get them fired up.
His role as the leader is clear, being the highest-paid player in the squad. Milan stood firm on their offer of €6m per year for a long time, but eventually matched Mino Raiola’s demands of €7m per year (Gazzetta dello Sport via MilanNews).
Based on the second half of the 2020/21 season, you could certainly argue he deserves this. Then again, making him the highest-paid player seems a bit silly if it was just for the sake of it, as some reports suggested.
In the end, there was only one option
Ibrahimovic’s future has been a hot topic in the last few months, with several outlets naming potential destinations for the 38-year-old. However, when Stefano Pioli was confirmed as the manager, there was seemingly only one option.
Sure, he could have opted to return to Sweden and play for Hammarby, a club he owns 25% of. However, he did so well this past season and it would have been a shame to see him elsewhere, especially now that Ralf Rangnick isn’t taking over Milan.
In other words, it was more or less always a case of when not if. Paolo Maldini, Ricky Massara and even Ivan Gazidis are smart enough to realise that Ibrahimovic can do them a lot of good this upcoming season.
Hopefully, he can help the team build on the fantastic performances displayed in the post-lockdown period. Should he manage to do so, then Milan will certainly compete for a spot in the prestigious Champions League.