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Mancini desires Ibrahimovic

- Daily Mail

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the one player Roberto Mancini craves above all others.

The problem, however, is that the 31-year-old Swede is the one player in world football that even Manchester City cannot afford.

Sportsmail understands that Mancini wanted to sign Ibrahimovic when he left Barcelona for AC Milan in the summer of 2011. The Italians, though, had first option on the striker after a successful season-long loan at the San Siro.

City's coaching staff have long-since grown used to Mancini singing the Sweden star's praises to them, frequently describing him as 'the complete' forward.  

Ibrahimovic has the ego to match his vast salary. Zlatan’s autobiography was described as ‘the height of self-indulgence’. And for good reason – it was titled I, Zlatan.

Now at Paris St Germain, he is reportedly paid a whopping £11.5m a year by the French club's Qatari owners. 

Only Samuel Eto'o in world football is paid more - reportedly £16m a year - by Russian billionaires Anzhi Makhachkala.

But it is that vast salary which would remain the biggest stumbling block to Mancini signing Ibrahimovic. Such wages, coupled with an estimated £50million transfer fee for a player the wrong side of 30, would be too much for even City's brand of Arab owners based in Abu Dhabi.

For the past five years Ibrahimovic has been one of the five best paid players in the world. 

Despite these financial hurdles, bookmaker Ladbrokes believe last night's slayer of England could be moving to the Barclays Premier League soon.

Following his wonder strike last night the bookies make Ibrahimovic just 2/1 to take in the Premier League on his European club tour before retirement. He's also been cut to 50/1 for the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup. 

Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “We'd love to see Ibrahimovic light up the Premier League.”