Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly took a massive pay cut to re-sign with Manchester United this week, with the veteran striker’s basic wage this season set to be just half of what he earned in 2016/17.
According to claims from the Sun, Ibrahimovic was on a weekly salary of £367,000 last season, a figure that equated to over £19m for the campaign and as a whole and was inflated further by numerous bonuses which took his earnings up to an enormous £22m.
The tabloid newspaper suggests his new one-year deal, announced to much fanfare on Thursday, will pay the 35-year-old £180,000-per-week.
It is still a very handsome wage and is set to once again be boosted by lucrative bonus agreements, but is perhaps indicative that he will not play such a prominent role given the arrival of the free-scoring Romelu Lukaku since his initial release in June.
On Thursday, Ibrahimovic commented to ESPN that the enjoyment of his first season at United was what motivated him to rejoin the club and reject offers from other teams.
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) 24. kolovoza 2017.
He also joked that he was so happy with how things have turned out that he would play for free.
“It’s not always about the sporting thing when you sign for a club,” he said. “I’m in a situation where I have to think 360 degrees around me. Everybody’s happy with this and I am supper happy, so happiness has no value, so this year I would play for free just like last year.”
Ibrahimovic’s £180,000 weekly wage is still vastly more than he could have earned in Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy or LA FC, both of whom were interested in his signature.
Even the very highest MLS salaries equate to around $7m per year, which works out at $135,000 per week, or £105,000 per week.