Ibrahimovic, who will be 36 in October, is not expected to play again before the New Year after rupturing his knee ligaments during Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final win over Anderlecht in April.
Before the injury, United were ready to trigger a clause in the Swedish striker’s deal for a second season because he had been a huge success following his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 28 goals in 46 appearances and helping the club to win the FA Community Shield and EFL Cup.
But sources close to United say it would now be a financial madness to extend the deal of a player who is earning £367,000 a week – £19m a year – when he is not expected to play for at least the first half of the season. He will become a free agent at the end of the month.
And although he is described as something of a physical freak and even videoed himself kicking a ball again in his back garden this week, there is no certainty at this stage that Ibrahimovic will come back the same player as before his injury.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be offered a new deal by Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a revelation for Manchester United this season
United have not forgotten their unhappy experience of Radamel Falcao who joined them on a season-long loan with an option to buy from Monaco in 2014 – on wages of about £250,000-a week – but struggled to recapture his best from after suffering a cruciate ligament injury earlier that year and was shown the door.
Bookmakers William Hill yesterday suspended betting on Ibrahimovic’s departure after a number of sizeable bets were placed in the city.
And his agent Mino Raiola admitted this week that Ibrahimovic’s future is unclear when he said: “For now, it is important he recovers well and then we will see. He has had a fantastic time at Manchester United and it is up to the club and myself to see what the future brings.
How much every Man United goal has earned Zlatan Ibrahimovic this season Thu, May 11, 2017 Play slideshow AFP/Getty Images 1 of 28
August 7, 2016 against Leicester City – £47,000
“He wants to stay in England, he wants to stay at the top. He can be a valuable asset for some other top clubs. We have a lot of offers and ideas and we have to evaluate them. But I think it is respectful to talk to United and to see what all parties want.”
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United have already made up their mind however with Jose Mourinho making it his transfer priority to sign a replacement No9 with Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata and Andrea Belotti all on his hit list.
Another United star heading towards the Old Trafford exit door is Wayne Rooney, who will make what could be his farewell appearance at Old Trafford tomorrow (Sun) when he plays in Michael Carrick’s testimonial game.
Ibrahimovic's goals led Manchester United to the Europa League final
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave Manchester United this summer
Romelu Lukaku is top of Manchester United's wishlist to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Rooney said after United’s Europa League final win that he had “more or less” made up his mind on his future but wanted to take time to talk over his decision with his family.
Former boss Louis van Gaal, now retired, is expected to make his first appearance back at Old Trafford since he was sacked last May when he attends tomorrow’s game between United’s 2008 Champions League-winning XI and an All-Stars team, including Steve Gerrard, Frank Lampard and John Terry.
Meanwhile, United are showing interest in two central defenders – Benfica’s Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane, who plays for Real Madrid tonight (Sat) in the Champions League final.