Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not retire despite the end of his AC Milan contract and knee surgery that will sideline him for months, said club technical director Paolo Maldini.
Ibrahimovic, who turns 41 this year, helped guide AC Milan to their first league title since 2011.
He revealed on his Instagram that he had been playing football for the last six months without an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the critical ligaments in the knee joint.
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“For the past six months, I played without an ACL in my left knee,” the Swedish striker said.
“Swollen knee for six months.
“I was only able to train with the team 10 times in the last six months.
“Took more than 20 injections in six months.
“Emptied the knee once a week for six months.
“Painkillers every day for six months.
“Barely slept for six months because of the pain.
“Never suffered so much on and off the pitch.
“I made something impossible to something possible.
“In my mind I had only one objective, to make my teammates and coach champions of Italy because I made them a promise.
“Today I have a new ACL and another trophy.”
It would be understandable if - that due to his age and the fact that his surgery will have him unable to play for up to eight months - Ibrahimovic would be set to retire.
However, that doesn't seem to be the case as of yet.
"From what I understand, his intention is to continue," Maldini told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"We have made an appointment in a fortnight. I don't see any problem in reaching an agreement. He is certainly not at ease playing so little. We will see what happens in the next two weeks," Maldini said.
Maldini also gave confirmation that AC Milan have approached Liverpool’s Divock Origi who will come in to support Olivier Giroud, Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic up front.
According to Maldini, who spent the entirety of his 25-year club career at AC Milan, the club is not stable enough financially to bring in big names.
That may change in the future should the club be able to secure a new owner, with negotiations currently being held.
RedBird Capital Partners, an American investment fund that are partners of Liverpool’s FSG, are the current favourites to become AC Milan’s next ownership group.
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