The increasingly-less nebulous hints dropped by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his representatives concerning a move to the Premier League suggest the Swedish striker enjoys toying with the emotions of the British public.
Any Premier League powerhouse would doubtless be delighted to sign a forward of Ibrahimovic’s prestige and the raised hopes of any optimistic fan yearning for their club to sign the trophy-magnet goal getter could be excused following a steady stream of statements regarding the player’s interest in a move to England.
However, all supporters residing outside of the nation’s most densely-populated domain had their dreams dashed by the latest leaked lines from inside Camp Zlatan.
Newsreaders were made privy to some potential inside information last weekend when Swedish journalist Olof Lundh dropped the following bombshell:
‘Of course the Premier League is interesting for him. I think he would like to live in London. Whether that would be Chelsea, Arsenal or maybe even West Ham, we will see.’
While expunging 89 of the Premier and Football League clubs from the running, Lundh has drastically increased the odds of signing free-agent-to-be Ibrahimovic for three.
But placing the potential moves under further scrutiny there’s cause to question the validity of these links.
Arsenal are out – Ibrahimovic doesn’t like Arsene Wenger and it’s quite possible the Frenchman reciprocates the feeling after the Paris Saint-Germain striker infamously refused a trial with the Gunners as a teenager.
The presence of esteemed Taz the Tasmanian Devil impersonator Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge would see an unholy alliance forged at Chelsea that would coexist harmoniously until one failed to pass to the other, upon which point the wrath of a thousand hells would be unleashed.
West Ham United can make a good argument as to why they’re a worthy suitor, but if the Irons appeal to the 34-year-old, then surely an overlooked capital city outfit do too.
Unless they can qualify for the Champions League, West Ham have no more pulling power in this particular skirmish than Crystal Palace, other than a fancy new stadium.
Assuming the Eagles retain their Premier League status, their coffers will be boosted to the same extent as the Hammers’ thanks to the inflated TV deal, while wealthy American investors recently welcomed into the Selhurst Park boardroom make Palace a potentially bigger fish from a financial perspective.
They’ve proved themselves capable of attracting international class operatives from the French capital through Yohan Cabaye’s summer 2015 arrival. Another plus point is the lack of reported discord since egomaniac striker Emmanuel Adebayor signed – if they can put up with the Togolese tantrum-thrower, they can deal with a diva like Ibra…so long as the ex-Arsenal striker isn’t around at the same time.