Manchester United have re-signed striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a new one-year contract.
Ibrahimovic was released at the end of last season but is now back at Old Trafford for the 2017-18 campaign.
United boss Jose Mourinho told the club’s official website: “We are delighted Zlatan is on the road to recovery and we are equally delighted to have his ambition and experience back with us.
“After his contribution last season he deserves our trust and we will be patient waiting for him to return. I have no doubt that he will be important in the second part of the season.”
Ibrahimovic, who will wear the No. 10 shirt this season, said: “I am back to finish what I started. It was always mine and the club’s intention for me to stay.
“I cannot wait to get back out on that Old Trafford pitch, but I also know that I have to take my time to make sure that I am ready. I have been working hard and will continue to do so to make sure I am in the best possible condition for my return to the pitch.”
In April, he suffered a knee ligament injury that brought his first season in the Premier League to a premature end.
United decided not to exercise their option to extend his deal with the 35-year-old agreeing to focus on his rehabilitation after undergoing surgery in the United States.
Mourinho and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward continued to make the club’s training and medical facilities at their Carrington base available to the striker.
And despite deciding to let Ibrahimovic go, they were always open to the possibility of him returning if he could prove his fitness.
United staff and Ibrahimovic’s surgeons in Pittsburgh have been impressed with his recovery and he could now return before the end of the year.
Marcos Rojo, who suffered a less severe knee ligament injury in the same game against Anderlecht, returned to training with the first team on Tuesday.
Ibrahimovic arrived at Old Trafford last summer on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain and scored 28 goals in 46 games, including 17 in the Premier League, before injury ended his campaign.
The former Sweden captain missed the Europa League final against former club Ajax in the Friends Arena in Stockholm, a stadium that will soon have a statue of Ibrahimovic placed outside.
In July, United’s new £75 million striker Romelu Lukaku revealed he had asked Ibrahimovic’s permission to wear the No. 9 shirt this season.
He said: “Strikers play with No. 9. It’s a nice number, and I asked the permission of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I want to thank him, as well, for allowing me to wear that number.”
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com