With pre-season training edging ever closer, Milan have an important piece of business to take care of that will hopefully be wrapped up by the end of this week.
As noted by MilanNews’ Antonio Vitiello, the players will report back on August 24 to undergo coronavirus testing, and the following day they will begin training ahead of the new campaign.
That means there is less than a week to go until the squad is back and preparing for what will be a gruelling year, and we have yet to hear any official news on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future.
As per the club’s official site, the 38-year-old rejoined us in January on an initial six-month deal with an option to extend for another year. Given he bagged 11 goals and five assists in 20 appearances in the second half of last season, it’s arguably quite clear that Milan should secure his services for another season at least.
While it has seemingly been a slow process, there could be a major development in the coming days as Fabrizio Romano notes in his tweet below that there is optimism that a deal will be reached and that an agreement is ‘getting closer’, which is positive news and it’s hoped that it leads to an announcement sooner rather than later.
Endless Zlatan. AC Milan are now “confident” to extend Ibrahimovic contract for one year more, until June 2021. Zlatan wants to stay and play again in Serie A. The agreement is getting closer… 🔴⚫️ @SkySport @DiMarzio #ACMilan #Ibra #SerieA
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 19, 2020
Given the short turnaround between seasons, this is going to be a busy period for all concerned at the club in order to get us in the best possible position for the start of the new campaign.
Further, we start even earlier given our involvement in the Europa League qualifying rounds which get underway on September 17, and so while new signings are perhaps going to take a little while, it would be ideal from Stefano Pioli’s perspective if he had as close to a full house of players at his disposal from last season.
In turn, if a new deal can be thrashed out for Ibrahimovic in the next few days and an agreement is reached, it would be a huge boost for all concerned to have him report back on the first day with the rest of the squad to give everyone a timely lift as we begin what we hope will be a successful and memorable year.
The Swede showed from January onwards that his quality, experience and leadership are fundamental to our development as a group moving forward, and the fact that he was so decisive and so consistent just added the icing on the cake as it turned out to be an important move from the club to help turn our year around.
It certainly sounds as though we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to Ibrahimovic’s future, and while there is a lot of work to be done to make this squad as competitive as possible for the upcoming season, if it starts with an extension for our talismanic forward, then that is as good a start as we can hope for.