Ibrahimovic: 'Man U future does not depend on Champions League qualification'

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has refused to commit to the EFL Cup winner beyond the end of the season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United   -  Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists his Manchester United future does not hinge on whether the club qualifies for next season's Champions League.

Ibrahimovic, 35, signed a one-year deal at Old Trafford in July 2016 with an option for a further 12 months but has yet to confirm if he will stay in England or seek a move elsewhere, despite a wonderful first season at United that has seen him plunder 26 goals in 38 games.

His agent Mino Raiola refused to divulge his client's intentions in an interview with talkSPORT on Monday and Ibrahimovic himself was equally coy after netting the winner in Sunday's EFL Cup final against Southampton.

"Let's see what happens," he said when asked if he would stay.

"I mean the moment, how I feel, the situation, we have another two months of the season to go, because according to many I could not do what I've been doing."

He insisted qualification for Europe's premier club competition was not a factor, however, with Jose Mourinho's men sixth in the Premier League table, two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

"No, it is not about that. I came here and the club wasn't in the Champions League. So it had nothing to do with the Champions League. So somebody made up a story that if they don't qualify for the Champions League I will not extend. It has nothing to do with that," he said.

"I think in your career you have moments. I did not come to England before because it was not the moment."

Ibrahimovic confirmed the three key people in him joining United were his sons, Maximilian and Vincent, and Mourinho.

The former Sweden captain added: "I came when I thought it was the moment and the moment was there. If we speak about the coach, England, the Premier League, the club has to thank him [Mourinho] because he called me and asked me to come here, otherwise I would not have been here. Even my two kids wanted to see me play at United.

"My mind was not here [United], then my kids started to bump my head and Jose called, then I am here.

"Yes [my children wanted to see me at United] because I had my mind somewhere else. Before everything was coming on top of the table, then Jose called. I have a special relationship with him. When he called it was basically, 'Tell me what number I should wear?'

"My children are satisfied with what I am doing. But this time I am the boss, not them."

The 35-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career for the likes of Inter, AC Milan, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain and is adamant he will not tarnish his achievements by playing on beyond his best.

"I will stop on top," he said. "I will not play one game by being Ibrahimovic and for what I did before. If I don't perform, if I don't bring results, I will not play. 

"I will not be like other players, playing because they make a great career and name and they are still playing because they are who they are. I will play as long as I can bring results."  

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :