AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played down talk that he will be making a sensational return to La Liga by joining newly crowned Spanish champions Real Madrid this summer.
Ibrahimovic, who recently voiced his intention to stay on at Milan until the end of his career, has cut a frustrating figure at the San Siro of late.
Milan gave up a comfortable four-goal lead in recent weeks and allowed an unbeaten Juventus side to officially dethrone them as the Italian champions yesterday.
Needing a win to keep the Serie A title race alive for another week, Milan needed to beat Inter in a toughly contested derby but despite a brace from Ibra, the injury-plagued Rossoneri were beaten 4-2 and saw their hopes crushed in emphatic fashion.
While the disappointment was felt throughout the club, Ibrahimovic was left particularly shattered as the defeat marked the end of his eight-year title-winning streak in three different countries.
“I’m not used to winning nothing – it’s the first time [since 2003] it’s happened to me. I’m disappointed. It’s a failure,” Ibrahimovic told reporters as he reminisced his winning days with Ajax, Inter, and Barcelona before claiming silverware with Milan last year.
Milan’s title prospects this season began to crack well before the resilient Juve leapfrogged them in the standings. A plethora of injuries, as well as some unfortunate officiating at different stages of the season, saw them gradually close control in the second half of the season.
Ibrahimovic’s future was thrown up in the air every time Milan struggled and speculation has been rife that Real want to give the Swede an opportunity to silence his critics at former club Barca, who also eliminated the Italian giants from the Champions League this season.
The 30-year old admits that the disappointing events over the last few weeks have created some uncertainty at Milan, but insists that he is willing to be there for the club during the tough times as long as there is an ambition to aggressively rebuild over the summer.
He explained: “I want to win and everything depends on what Milan want. I have no doubts about myself but I want to understand what the club wants to do.”
When asked his thoughts about Milan’s ability to match the ambitions of Europe’s elite, he confidently stated: “There was a great Milan project. We’ll see if they take it forwards. I hope they do.
“The question is whether the club has any doubts about this whole project. It’s the club that must tell their plans to the squad and to us players individually. But I feel very happy here at Milan and I want to continue to play and win here.”
Despite enjoying a prolific club career in Holland, Italy, and Spain, Ibrahimovic has not yet won a Champions League title and any decision regarding his future heavily depends on the potential to succeed in Europe’s most elite club competition.