I rejected Manchester United under Louis van Gaal – Ibrahimovic

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted that he was not keen on a move to Manchester United a year ago — but the arrival of Jose Mourinho at the club changed his thinking.

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United went on to finish fifth last season under previous manager Louis van Gaal, meaning the club are not in the Champions League this season, but Mourinho still managed to persuade the Swedish striker to change his mind.

Ibrahimovic said: “There were talks about me coming to United one year ago, that is correct. But I didn’t believe in it then because it was not the right moment.

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“Then they get the Special One and, when the Special One calls you and when he starts to talk to you, you are already convinced. He didn’t need to talk a lot to convince me.

“It was only enough to call me and say, ‘Listen, I’m waiting for you in Manchester,’ and I was coming.”

The 35-year-old had already tasted success while working with Mourinho when they were at Inter Milan, securing the title during the 2008-09 season, and he feels they share a winning mentality.

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Ibrahimovic said: “I believe 50 percent of this sport is in your head, it’s a mental thing. Prepare mentally, you make it easier.

“It’s not only about how good your skills are. If you don’t have the mental part, you’re not ready for this world.”

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