Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be returning to the LA Galaxy for the 2020 season, the club announced Wednesday.
The news was first broke by LA Times’ Kevin Baxter. Ibrahimovic’s contract expires at the end of 2019, and both Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy had planned meetings to discuss a new contract. Instead the sides agreed to mutually part ways, according to a release.
— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) November 13, 2019
“We would like to thank Zlatan for his contributions to the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer,” LA Galaxy president Chris Klein said in a statement. “Since his arrival in 2018, Zlatan has positively influenced the sport of soccer in Los Angeles. We are grateful for his work ethic and passion. We thank Zlatan for his professionalism and immeasurable impact on the Los Angeles community and the soccer community in North America as a whole.”
Ibrahimovic, who has been linked with moves to numerous clubs, had been cryptic about his future when the question arose over the last few months, generally answering he would have those discussions with the club once the season concluded. After falling to LAFC in the playoffs, he gave the biggest hint toward his future:
“It’s not about money, I was joking,” Ibrahimovic said. “I have another two months and we see what happens. You want to get credit back for when you’re playing. When you do a lot of things, you want to get credit for what you’re doing. I think we are doing the maximum we can and win or lose today we did the maximum. Like I said, the season has been like this … we score two, we concede four. We score three, we concede four. We score one, we concede three. It’s hard to play like that. I did my best, I think everybody did their best. And what happens next year. If I stay or not, I think for MLS it’s good because the whole world will watch us. If I don’t stay, nobody will remember what MLS is.”
On Wednesday, Ibrahimovic tweeted what appeared to be a goodbye message to the Galaxy and the club’s fans. A short time later, the Galaxy confirmed the Swedish superstar’s departure.
I came, I saw, I conquered. Thank you @lagalaxy for making me feel alive again. To the Galaxy fans – you wanted Zlatan, I gave you Zlatan. You are welcome. The story continues…Now go back to watch baseball pic.twitter.com/kkL6B6dJBr
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 13, 2019
Ibrahimovic joined the Galaxy in March 2018, and notching 52 goals and 17 assists in 53 regular season appearances.