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MANCHESTER UNITED

Holidaying Zlatan to sit out Manchester United China tour

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss Manchester United's pre-season tour of China as the Sweden striker takes an extended break following Euro 2016.

Holidaying Zlatan to sit out Manchester United China tour
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Ibrahimovic joined José Mourinho’s side on a free transfer after leaving French champions Paris Saint Germain at the end of last season, but the Premier League club’s legion of fans in China won’t get a first glimpse of the marquee signing in a United Shirt.

Although United’s 25-man squad for the trip includes Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford, Chris Smalling, David de Gea and Paddy McNair, who all exited Euro 2016 later than Ibrahimovic, the former Barcelona and Inter Milan forward was granted extra time off by Mourinho and is currently sunning himself in Los Angeles.

Ibrahimovic’s first United appearance is likely to come against Galatasaray in Gothenburg on July 30th.

The 35-year-old, who has hit 62 goals in 116 appearances for Sweden, retired from the national team after a miserable Euro 2016. Though selected in the initial 35-man Sweden squad to go to the Rio Olympics this August, he said he would not participate

 

Making soccer look easy at Venice beach #swedenvsfrance

Ett filmklipp publicerat av IAmZlatan (@iamzlatanibrahimovic) Jul 18, 2016 kl. 7:21 PDT

His absence in China won’t slow the clamour to see United’s glamour friendlies against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on Friday and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in Beijing on Monday.

Ibrahimovic’s fellow close-season arrivals Eric Bailly, an Ivory Coast defender signed from Villarreal, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a former Borussia Dortmund midfielder, are on the plane to Asia for the week-long trip.

Also included is England left-back Luke Shaw, who will continue to step up his fitness after making his return from long-term injury in the 2-0 friendly win at Wigan on Saturday.

Youngsters Axel Tuanzebe, Will Keane and Andreas Pereira will get a chance to impress after being named in the group.

France internationals Anthony Martial and Morgan Schneiderlin, Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger and Italy’s Matteo Darmian are not going to the Far East following their Euro 2016 campaigns.

IBRAHIMOVIC

Zlatan has been ‘cured’ of coronavirus: AC Milan

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been given the all-clear to end his quarantine period and return to action after testing negative for coronavirus, the Serie A club announced on Friday.

Zlatan has been 'cured' of coronavirus: AC Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring a goal in September. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Milan confirmed in a statement that the Swedish striker had “tested negative” twice in a row, as stipulated in the protocol to be able to lift the quarantine procedure.
   
Ibrahimovic, 39, sounded a more triumphal note on his social media: “You are cured! The health authority says the quarantine is over, you can go out!”, he wrote on Twitter.

The announcement comes a day after Milan said Ibrahimovic had tested positive a second time for Covid-19, putting in doubt his participation in the Milan derby on October 17.
 
   
Ibrahimovic first tested positive on September 24.
   
The derby remains in doubt with two other Milan players and five from Inter currently in self-quarantine.
   
In spite of his absence, Milan have made a decent start to the season, having climbed to second in Serie A after winning all three of their games and reaching the group stages of the Europa League.
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