Jose Mourinho would not stand in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s way if the Manchester United striker decided he wanted to leave the club.
The 36-year-old, who is in the final six months of the contract extension he signed last August, has been linked with a possible move to MLS giants LA Galaxy.
The former Paris Saint-Germain forward has found game time limited this season due to knee problems and the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal has threatened to curb his involvement in the first team even further.
An ESPN report has claimed talks between Galaxy and Ibrahimovic are progressing and, although Mourinho insists the player has not spoken to him about the prospect of a move, he says he would not deny him the chance to join another club if he wished.
“He told me nothing about it,” Mourinho told a news conference ahead of United’s Premier League match against Tottenham on Wednesday. “The first time I heard or read something about that was from you, the media. He never mentioned that to me. So, I don’t know.
“Zlatan is in the last year of his contract. If – I’m saying if, if, if – that is true and Zlatan wants a future in another club, in another country, we are here to help and create conditions for that to happen, not to make his life difficult.
“But the last thing Zlatan told me was he wanted to recover totally and to help the team. He is working hard to be fit. I don’t say he is injured; I think he is in a moment of trying to feel really ready for the demands of Premier League football.”
Mourinho also insisted midfielder Marouane Fellaini wants to stay at the club, despite the Belgium international having yet to agree a new contract at Old Trafford.
“He’s a very important player for me, a great professional, giving everything he can to help the team,” said Mourinho.
“There is a desire from myself, the board, and the player to stay together. That’s our objective. Are we going to agree? I don’t know. What I know is myself, the board and the player would like to have a happy end.
“I’m happy with his contribution, I think he’s been a great professional for us and I know he wants to stay with us. That’s very important. He knows I want him and the club want him, but there is a paper to sign and you only sign when you are happy with what is written on the paper.”