Thursday November 21 2019
Roma the right fit for Zlatan

A return to Italy seems likely for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Marcello Cossali-Francis believes Roma would be his best option ahead of Milan and Bologna.

“I came, I saw, I conquered. To the Galaxy fans, you wanted Zlatan, I gave you Zlatan. You are welcome. The story continues…”

In typical fashion, Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced back at the start of November that, after two seasons with LA Galaxy, the two would part ways at the end of his contract in January.

The media storm loves a “where next” story and, as per usual, there are supposedly a flock of major European clubs after the Swedish maverick.

It seems he is after a move to Italy and the first club that he was linked with was back to Milan, where he spent two years, earning 61 caps and scoring 42 goals.

They won a Scudetto in that time and his wife seems very keen, after being quoted as saying she was ‘in love’ with the idea of returning to Milan. Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber also stated Milan were interested at the start of November and at that point, it looked set.

Roma, Napoli and Fiorentina have also been linked with the Swedish goal-machine since, who has won four Serie A titles, discounting the two with Juventus that were revoked by Calciopoli. He was certainly a big success with both Milan clubs, scoring 99 goals across 149 appearances, but I don’t think those two are particularly viable options.

Milan, despite Ibrahimovic having the emotional connection, are in a pretty low place right now and given there is no European football this season, or it seems, on the horizon, there is limited appeal.

As for Napoli, they seem to be in a crisis of their own and signing players is not their main priority right now. Fiorentina are an attractive side, but lack of European football means they do not have much to offer the Swede. That would also be the case with Bologna, but there is something they do have the seems to be tempting the 38-year-old.

Bologna appear to have stolen a march on the rest of the Italian clubs for Ibrahimovic’s signature. Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic is a rather big pull for the Swede, who has both played and been (assistant) coached by him at Inter. It would be a shock move and, obviously, one that would no doubt help Bologna, who currently sit 15th in Serie A and struggling for wins, with only three all season so far.

Their President is Joey Saputo, who also owns MLS club Montreal Impact and is son of Lino Saputo, who is the owner of Saputo Inc. That company is estimated at just below $5B and the business generates around $11B a year in revenue, so money is certainly not a problem, it would seem. Zlatan was reported as wanting “outrageous” sums of money, so any side would need to be backed by substantial cash to stump up the funds required.

The Stadio Dall’Ara has a rejuvenating effect on players, having given a second wind to the likes of Roberto Baggio, Beppe Signori and currently Rodrigo Palacio. Bologna are sorely lacking a centre-forward who can bang in goals and Ibra would be treated like a King there.

However, if we are talking about where Zlatan SHOULD go, then I think the club best suited for him at this stage would be Roma.

They are a side that are competing for the top four this season, they are still in the Europa League and with Zlatan’s goals, he could take Roma that step further and potentially compete for higher honours next season. He would be surrounded by plenty of young, upcoming stars of the game in Italy, such as Lorenzo Pellegrini, Cengiz Under, Justin Kluivert and Nicolò Zaniolo. He would not be short of supply and energy around him, which would suit the 38-year-old nicely.

From Roma’s point of view, they would be able to give those youngsters an incredibly experienced and proven quality player, a figure to try and replicate, as well as someone that can motivate them. Edin Dzeko has scored just five goals this season and isn’t firing like he has done in recent campaigns, and with the injured Nikola Kalinic as the only back-up, Zlatan fits nicely.

The rumours will continue until we hit January and plenty of teams will continue to circle. Bologna have the money and the “emotional connection” but at this point, it really does depend on the ambitions Zlatan has for the remainder of his career. He has never won a Champions League and you would think that is still playing on his mind, so who knows where he might end up?

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Have your say...
@ Karim,

Ibra is like Ali or McGregor.
You either love him or love to hate him.

(I also dislike C. Ronaldo, Conte, Mourinho, Dybala...
Doesn't mean I can't see Roma profiting getting these guys.)

But this talk is useless...
& Pallotta's Roma WOULDN'T SIGN HIM!
(Just my opinion/ feeling.)
on the 22nd November, 2019 at 11:51pm
@ Karim,

You are not buying Zlatan.
You only need to pay his salary.
But merchandise he'd bring would cover that & then some.
(OK, maybe not at Roma, but Milan has enough fans Worldwide to do that.)

And he can still play ball :)

He'd be 100 times better than Kalinic.
Surely you agree on that.
on the 22nd November, 2019 at 11:42pm
@ Karim

Zlatan is FRESH.
Romans aren't used to him & would flock into Olimpico to see him!
Zlatan also has his followers that he'd bring.
Zlatan brings media attention.
In some countries they broadcast Atalanta-Sassuolo over Roma-Udinese.
That wouldn't happen with Zlatan.

Ibra has great shot.
Great header.
He doesn't need to run as much.

At Roma, he would play cups & mid-week games.
Dzeko could rest.

Kluivert, Cengiz... would RUN like crazy for his autograph :) :)
on the 22nd November, 2019 at 11:11pm
@ United States of Totti: If we wanted an old man simply to sell jerseys...we should have kept Totti or De Rossi. Brining in Zlatan from a "business" point of view is imo, a massive massive massive error. Buy someone young with the goods, not an old wives tale named Zlatan who was relevant some ten years ago (maybe?). Come on mate, this is the exact type of thinking that gets clubs into trouble. Go for what we need, nothing more or less.
on the 22nd November, 2019 at 8:30pm
I think Zlatan will go to SPAL.
on the 22nd November, 2019 at 12:03pm
You need to search for
"Nihad Dedovic post-game interview".
It' 1:34 long, and the part I reffered to is at about a minute mark when reporter asks him about next game against CSKA Moscow!

It's Ibra 99%, even down to mannerism! Unbelievable.

Keep in mind my TV was muted when I saw this, which made it even better as his voice is nothing like Ibra's.
Watch the interview without sound.
What do you think :)
on the 22nd November, 2019 at 12:51am
Guys, on another note...

A month ago I watched the end of Bayern basketball game...
From a particular angle I could have sworn one of the players was Ibra!

See for yourself and search for Nihad Dedovic (written Đedović in Bosnian).

There's a video that doesn't really do it justice...
You'll see some resemblance in some photos, but in the live post-game interview I watched, he literally transformed into an EXACT IBRA every couple of seconds!
on the 22nd November, 2019 at 12:28am
Karim & Gee.
If Ibra comes it's only for 6 months or 1,5 year.

He can create great effect, bring enthusiasm, eyes of the World/ sponsors to the team.

Players would be even more motivated to train and perform in front of larger audience.
Ticket & jersey sales would rise.
(Look what Conte did for Inter.)

If things go right with him, Ibra can transform team into a rolling juggernaut.

Roma could even win EL,
Milan finally get that CL place.
on the 22nd November, 2019 at 12:07am

My vote is, if Serie A, Milan.

(I have a feeling Ibra is only using Bologna to lure in other suitors.)
on the 21st November, 2019 at 11:44pm
He would def motivate players AND fans --bring hype to both Milan or Roma as media loves him.
I see his pressence pushing either club to top 3.

But if it backfires, it will backfire TREMENDOUSLY.
Hype can quickly turn into opposite effect, become a burden if things don't go well.
(Look how Milan's 200mil/Bonucci thing went)

I hope Ibra ends in Serie A, as he'd bring much needed spotlight to it.
I see him at Milan though.
No way Roma takes him.

But realistically, he'll stay at LA or go to EPL
on the 21st November, 2019 at 11:41pm
The LAST thing Roma need is another ageing striker. Dzeko is on his last legs albeit still performing well with absolutely no back-up. Kalinic is a joke. So, it would make sense then to bring in a 40 year old to back them up? Please..this is so illogical. Roma need someone young and up and coming to back up Dzeko, not an old, shot, 40 year ego maniac. So he lit up the what? So did Giovinco and other average players.
on the 21st November, 2019 at 5:55pm
After watching Zlatan for 21 months as a season ticket holder at LA Galaxy, I would love to see him play for AS Roma. He scored some of the most amazing goals I’ve ever seen, and unfortunately committed some of the most egregious fouls I’ve ever seen. His persona is part act and part true Zlatan, but always entertaining.
Roma has the supporting players to supply this goal scoring machine, but can they afford him?
on the 21st November, 2019 at 5:06pm
Milan are focused on youth and young players so why are these reporters constantly connecting Milan to Ibra?
Just to make a story is losing credibility in your reporting.
on the 21st November, 2019 at 9:35am
Watch him go to Milan and bring them back to europa league at least.
on the 21st November, 2019 at 9:12am
My vote is for Zlatan to bologna! Yours?
on the 21st November, 2019 at 5:52am

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