Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirms Paris Saint-Germain departure
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 13/05/16 3:23pm
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has confirmed he will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.
The striker, who was named France's Player of the Year for a record third time on Sunday, is out of contract this summer and his next destination has long been the subject of speculation.
Ibrahimovic, whose existing deal expires on June 30, will make his final home appearance for the club in their last Ligue 1 game of the season against Nantes on Saturday - but the French champions said he would eventually return in a "management" role.
Breaking the news of his departure as a player in a message on his official Twitter account, Ibrahimovic said: "My last game tomorrow [Saturday] at Parc des Princes. I came like a king, left like a legend."
In a statement on PSG's website, he added: "I am very proud of the last four years. I loved every day I spent here. PSG has become a star club internationally and I played a key role moving it forward.
"It is now the right time for me to take a different path. I would like to thank my team-mates, the technical staff and all the people in the club.
"My heart is with the fans. They were amazing from the first day I came here. They are the best fans in France. It is not a farewell but only an au revoir. I came like a king, I leave like a legend, but I will be back."
The Sweden international, whose final appearance is likely to be on May 21 when PSG face Marseille in the French Cup final at the Stade de France, will leave PSG having won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles and as the club's all-time record goalscorer with 152 goals.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG president and CEO, paid tribute to the departing striker, whom the club confirmed had agreed that once his playing career was over, "would join the management in a position of responsibility."
"I am extremely proud of having welcomed Ibra in Paris and I'm now looking forward to the prospect of working with him again when he finishes his career," Al-Khelaifi said. "He will always be home at Paris Saint-Germain."
PSG boss Laurent Blanc had retained hope his talisman would stay put, but he will now become a free agent with a return to AC Milan or a move Stateside to join LA Galaxy possible options.
In February he hinted at a Premier League switch when he said he is "in shape" for a move to England.
A month later when asked about a possible move to the Premier League, he added: "Yes, there is interest. I can confirm that but we have to see where it leads."
Ibrahimovic started his career in his homeland with Malmo and went on to also win league titles in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.