With the January transfer window almost upon us, comedy transfer speculation is here - and this time it's the Italian media engineering a story that claims Manchester United want to bring Zlatan Ibrahimović back to the club in order to solve all of their problems.

Ibrahimović spent two years with United - the last of which was ravaged by injury - before leaving for LA Galaxy in 2018 but, after firing 31 goals during the most recent season, he will find himself out of contract in January.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

So, naturally, because his time in MLS may be coming to an end, Tutto Mercato Web (via the ​Daily Mail) have decided that United are keen to solve their myriad of striking problems - which actually isn't that bad when Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are fit - by going totally against their newly agreed philosophy of developing youth.

The Red Devils decided against replacing ​Romelu Lukaku during the summer, leaving just 

Rashford​Martial and young Mason Greenwood as recognised strikers. With Martial battling injury this season, the Red Devils' forward line has looked light at times, but the notion that Ibrahimović will return, undoubtedly on astronomical wages, is a little far fetched.

Yes, United have been tipped to move for veteran Juventus striker Mario Mandžukić and while that story does appear to have legs, he represents a far more realistic target for a side battling to secure European football next season.

Zlatan has previously fuelled talk that he could return to Old Trafford, suggesting he would be ​happy to go back if United need him. However, he does have a history of keeping himself in the limelight and recently declared on his Instagram story that he'll be returning to Spain, hinting in the loosest terms that La Liga may be his next port of call.

It turned out he was becoming a brand ambassador for a betting company.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

A return to the Serie A has also been touted for Ibrahimović, with Napoli, Bologna and AC Milan all thought to be keen on striking a deal for the 38-year-old. LA Galaxy also want to keep him around so, in reality, it's anybody's guess where his future lies.

One thing you can be sure of is that United won't be the club to take him on - unless Ed Woodward decides to veto Solskjaer's plans to revive the club's on-field fortunes and put commercial interests above all else...

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