Zlatan Ibrahimovic Chose LA Galaxy Over $100 Million China Offer

Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned down as much as a massive $97 million to join the Los Angeles Galaxy, according to club technical director Jovan Kirovski.

Ibrahimovic signed with the Major League Soccer (MLS) side last month after his Manchester United contract was mutually terminated following a second knee injury back in December.

The 36-year-old notably joined as a non-designated player on a two-year $3 million deal as the Galaxy already had their three slots filled up with Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos and Jonathan dos Santos. 

It represented a huge coup for the Los Angeles side as Ibrahimovic is arguably the biggest star since David Beckham to arrive in North America as he was swarmed by fans upon his arrival in the City of Angels Thursday last week.

Even bigger is the fact that he turned down a $100 million multiyear offer to play in China to be part of the MLS, according to Kirovski, who was speaking to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.

“According to Jovan Kirovski, the LA Galaxy technical director who did the most work to sign Ibrahimovic, the big Swede had a multiyear offer from China even after his knee injury that would have paid him $100 million total,” Wahl wrote. “Instead Ibra chose the Galaxy, which can only pay him $3 million over two years since he’s a TAM player on a team whose Designated Player slots are all filled.”

“Kirovski said the hardest part of the deal was explaining to Ibra’s superagent, Mino Raiola, why he could only pay Ibra $1.5 million a year. Raiola’s first response was: ‘Are you serious?’ But Ibra in the end decided he didn’t need the money at this stage of his career. Kirovski swears, by the way, that there aren’t any side deals from Galaxy sponsors to sweeten the pot for Zlatan.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic took a massive pay cut to join the MLS. Pictured, Los Angeles Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) celebrates his goal scored against Los Angeles FC during the second half at StubHub Center, California, March 31, 2018. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ibrahimovic made a bang on his debut against Los Angeles FC on Saturday as he came on as substitute and scored a long-range screamer to tie the game up at 3-3 before scoring an injury-time header to dramatically win the game for the Galaxy.

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