The Swedish striker is still training at the club and could well be retained by the Red Devils, the Portuguese has suggested

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hinted star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic may return to the club next season.

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Recovering from a knee injury, Ibrahimovic, 35, is a free agent after United opted against renewing his contract at the end of June.

The Swedish striker proved critics wrong by scoring 28 goals in all competitions in his first season at the Premier League giants.

United have since signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton for a reported £75 million, but Mourinho has now suggested Ibrahimovic could return to the club in 2018.

“We spent big money on a striker because, with strikers, you either spend or you don’t get,” Mourinho said.

“And we spent because of what happened to Zlatan and we can not allow ourselves to be without an important, strong striker for the first six months of the season.”

Ibrahimovic, who has been heavily linked with a move to MLS, is expected to make his return from injury in late 2017.