Paris Saint-Germain had a turbulent summer. The club lost head coach Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid and lost face as it bungled its way to finding a successor in the form of Laurent Blanc.
It even lost the headlines as Monaco’s lavish transfer campaign pushed the league champion into the shade. However, the Parc des Princes club did not lose Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Considered something of a wanderer in the European game, it had seemed likely for a period that the giant Swede would depart the French capital for England.
Having claimed the league title in France, adding to those already collected in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, the decorated striker’s next step appeared to logically be the Premier League.
The 31-year-old has never turned out for an English side and is less highly regarded in Britain than he is the rest of the world. Ibra, it seemed, had a point to prove.
His first season in France had been fruitful. He would score a career-high 30 league goals, marginally bettering the ratio he had produced with AC Milan a year earlier when he struck 28 in 30 matches, and he would become a favorite of the Parisian crowd. Winning the Ligue 1 title and running Barcelona close in the Champions League had been a commendable effort on the team front, too.
Ancelotti’s departure, however, seemed to suggest 12 months was all that the Malmo-born striker might enjoy.
The Italian had played a key role in wooing PSG’s first truly marquee signing of the QSI era only a year earlier and even before his departure for Spain was confirmed there were whispers that Ibra could be set for a new challenge.
Ibrahimovic, though, was to maintain a steady silence over his future, remaining elusive whenever questioned. “Will I stay at PSG? We'll see... All the times that I have said that I would be staying at a club, at the end I changed clubs,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Mino Raiola, the Swede’s agent, has become synonymous with his clients chopping and changing clubs on a regular basis. Even his mere presence in Ibrahimovic’s entourage seemed to fan the rumors of a transfer, though the player’s representative was unequivocal that there would be no move from the beginning of the summer.
“The commercial design of the club is based on his signing and they have no intention of selling him,” he would tell Sky Sport Italia.