Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejoined Manchester United on a one-year contract after the Swedish star’s spell with the Premier League side was curtailed by a serious knee injury last season.
Ibrahimovic missed the final weeks of United’s campaign after suffering ligament damage in a Europa League clash against Anderlecht in April.
But United manager Jose Mourinho remained in contact with the 35-year-old while he underwent his rehabilitation and the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain forward has now agreed to return to Old Trafford.
“I am back to finish what I started. It was always mine and the club’s intention for me to stay,” Ibrahimovic told United’s website.
“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.”
Ibrahimovic scored 28 times in 46 appearances in his first season with United, with his eye for goal and leadership skills helping Mourinho’s men win the League Cup and march towards the Europa League title.
The Swede was injured by the time United beat Ajax in the Europa League final in his native Stockholm and both the player and his club agreed to let his contract expire at the end of the season.
But Mourinho was impressed enough by Ibrahimovic’s first nine months with United that he made it clear he was open to the forward returning if his recovery went well.
“There were a couple of teams reaching out, wanting ‘Ibra-kadabra’ in their team, but I had such a great year with United. Fantastic guys, great club,” Ibrahimovic told ESPN FC.
Ibrahimovic, who was linked with a move to Los Angeles Galaxy earlier in the close-season, has been working with United’s medical staff at the club’s Carrington training base and his regime has been so successful that reports suggest he could be back on the pitch by late October.
On Sunday, Ibrahimovic, who will wear the number 10 shirt for United, posted a video on Twitter challenging his followers to guess which knee he had damaged as he showed off taekwondo moves on a punch bag.