On Friday, just before Tottenham Hotspur played their first Premier League match under new head coach Jose Mourinho, a ridiculous rumor was circulating around the internet suggesting that Mourinho might be tempted to make a free agent move for Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who recently left MLS side LA Galaxy.
This was dumb on a number of levels, most notably the fact that, while he would not have a transfer fee, his wages are astronomical even while he was at MLS, and Spurs would also have to negotiate his image rights separately. You might recall that this was the very issue that held up the signing of Paulo Dybala from Juventus this past summer. Zlatan is also... well, let’s just call him a “forceful personality” so it’s not clear what kind of impact it would have bringing a striker like him into the Spurs dressing room, ostensibly to back up Harry Kane. (Can you imagine it? I can’t.) Also, Zlatan is 38.
But, like rumors do, this one stuck around and someone actually got it in their heads to ask Jose about it in a press conference today ahead of Spurs’ Champions League match against Olympiacos. Mourinho said, despite having “a connection” to the striker, there’s no way that’s happening.
“You are right about the connection [to Zlatan]. I would even say it was more than a connection. It is a passion, an understanding. He is an amazing player and an amazing guy. But I would say no chance.
“We have the best striker in England and one of the top two or three strikers in the world. It does not make any sense for a striker of Zlatan’s dimension. Obviously, he is in his late 30s but he is still a striker who can play in any club in the world. But it does not make sense to come to a club where we have Harry Kane.”
So look, there’s a part of me that thinks about Zlatan walking out onto the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and squeees like a boy. I’d love to see it, if only for the potential #narrative and the inevitable sturm und drang that such a signing would make. But it’s pretty patently ridiculous once you get much past the surface of this rumor and I’m glad it’s been shot down.
But hey, maybe I’m wrong, so let’s have a poll.
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