Zlatan Ibrahimovic held a meeting with AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale before the game against Newcastle United, and then he was spotted in the stands.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) reports that Ibrahimovic and Milan met for two days in a row: the first at Milanello on the eve of the Newcastle game, then yesterday in a hotel in Corso Venezia.
The latter was a decidedly more institutional appointment because the team and head coach Stefano Pioli were no longer there, but Gerry Cardinale.
The founder of RedBird – the fund to which Milan belongs – and Zlatan are two strong personalities, who cannot have met by chance and not even for a simple coffee.
Something more on the table, but what? From what filters through the club, it wasn’t a ‘job interview’ and no contract has been offered to Ibra (not yet, at least), but there is often no smoke without fire.
Imagining where Ibrahimovic fits into the current club hierarchy is difficult, because he wouldn’t accept a second-rate role and in the organisation all the boxes are filled.
On the sporting side Geoffrey Moncada and Antonio D’Ottavio conduct the market, Giorgio Furlani is the CEO, Paolo Scaroni is the president and the ‘honorary’ position is already assigned to Franco Baresi.
Zlatan as a scout is not a possibility at the moment, but a role as an ambassador could make more sense. He has a global appeal, and for Cardinale the business linked to the brand is a priority.
The idea is that when he overcomes his reservations about the future, Ibra will want to do so to commit himself to a project that sees him involved and above all operational.
In the meantime, Cardinale wanted to keep the door open and Ibra the same. It was an informal, informative chat to understand if there is mutual desire and possible room for manoeuvre for a future collaboration.
It is natural to consider the possibility of a role closer to the team, on Pioli’s staff or as a figure in contact with the players. Could this be the solution? Time and the protagonists will tell but there are some assumptions.
Pioli would not object: he has always said that he is close to Zlatan – even defined as a ‘friend’ on Monday – and would be happy to work with him again. Certainly, the decision will not be up to the coach.
A lthough changed a lot in the summer, this squad retains the roots of the team that won the Scudetto in 2021-22 with Zlatan. Ibra is reflecting on the future but those who know him say that the time for the break is over for him. Zlatan doesn’t like to watch from afar, he wants to feel part of a challenge.
Furthermore, a return to Milan has always seemed fascinating to him, partly because of his affection for the Rossoneri, partly because Milan is now his city and Zlatan loves the daily life of football.
He has dedicated every day to football since he was a child in Rosengard and has always attended Milanello even when he couldn’t train with the team.