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Ibrahimovic set to return for Manchester United in 2018 as 'extra man' for Mourinho

14:48 WAT 25/08/2017
The Swedish striker has signed a new one-year deal with the Red Devils and is continuing his recovery from a serious knee injury

Jose Mourinho is relishing the prospect of having Zlatan Ibrahimovic as an "extra man" in his Manchester United squad but does not expect the former Sweden captain to return from injury until after Christmas.

Ibrahimovic on Thursday signed a new one-year deal at United after continuing to train at Old Trafford in the wake of the cruciate knee injury that curtailed his maiden season at the club.

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The 35-year-old scored 28 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions last term and Mourinho is pleased he will reinforce his squad in the second half of the season.

Asked when Ibrahimovic would return, the former Real Madrid boss told reporters: "I don’t want to think about it, I don’t even ask, speak about it or with the medical team.

"He will be an extra man for us in the second part of the season.

"When I say second part I say January, after Christmas, when the transfer window reopens but I have no idea at all and I think the right way is not even to think or speak about it and just let him do his work step by step and come back when he’s ready.

"I'm really happy that he's with us because [it] shows two things for me – it shows me the dimension of the player and the dimension of the club.

"The dimension of the player because it would be very easy for him to say goodbye, to say it's enough, one European competition, had [Europa League] success at Manchester United, big injury, goodbye.

"He doesn't do that. He wants to follow his other dreams and he wants to play football at the highest level.”