London, Sep 5 (IANS) Former Sweden star Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed that he had rejected several offers from English clubs before deciding to join Manchester United as he could not resist the opportunity to work with celebrated manager Jose Mourinho.
The 34-year-old, who had played under Mourinho with Italian giants Inter Milan, had earlier rejected offers from Arsenal and Manchester City. But he decided to join Manchester United earlier this year after leaving French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
“I was close two times to moving to the Premier League — once with Arsenal and then Manchester City. But it never happened and I don’t need to play in the Premier League,” Ibrahimovic was quoted as saying by Manchester Evening News on Sunday.
The star striker asserted that he had learned a lot from Mourinho during his stint at Inter Milan and informed that the Portuguese manager convinced him to move to Old Trafford.
“He is the mastermind, the masterbrain. He knows what he needs to do to win,” Ibrahimovic said.
“I learned a lot from him at Inter. Who wouldn’t want to have Mourinho as manager?”
Ibrahimovic, who has scored four goals in his first four games for Manchester United, is also reportedly planning to venture into football management when his playing days are over.
He will reportedly start his coaching course early next year in preparation for becoming a manager when he retires.
Ibrahimovic has also held talks with Mourinho about his plans once he hangs up his boots.
“Zlatan is already tapping into Jose Mourinho and planning for the future in the game. He has told the lads he does not see an end to his playing days for another two or three years,” a Manchester United source was quoted as saying by the Sun.
“Jose has left his door open and Ibra likes the idea of coaching, but not necessarily a manager right away. He is enjoying picking up a few ideas and he fancies Italy.”
Ibrahimovic, who started his career with Malmo FF in Sweden, represented top European clubs such as Juventus, Inter Milan, FC Barcelona and AC Milan before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2012.