The long-assumed, much-anticipated announcement has been made: Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave Paris Saint-Germain as soon as his contract expires this summer. Now the question on everyone's mind is where he's heading next, with Napoli fans wondering if maybe, just maybe, the big Swede could be bound for the San Paolo.
Zlatan does, after all, want to retire in Naples. So says his agent, at least. While Mino Raiola also said that Aurelio De Laurentiis' methodology would make that impossible, there was word earlier this spring that Napoli were plotting a move to make that wish become a reality. Such a move would likely require the sale of Gonzalo Higuain to come to fruition, but with more and more transfer rumors surrounding Pipita of late, that might become an inevitability.
So now that Zlatan is going to be available on a free, the question is this: will Napoli pull the trigger? Will one of the greatest players of our era finally wear the right shade of blue?
Well ... probably not.
Ibrahimovic will not lack for suitors, from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea to the mega-rich clubs in the Middle East or China. Where Higuain winds up could impact Zlatan's options -- United and Chelsea are perhaps the two most interested sides right now, after all -- but no matter what, the big Swede will get a big, high-impact deal somewhere, one that Napoli likely cannot afford. Even if they could afford it, they'd likely be better off spreading that money around in the team, even with the power of attraction that Zlatan can bring.
Beyond that, though, the rumors and reports are flying hot and heavy that Ibra is in talks with MLS, likely to join the LA Galaxy at some point between now and January, depending on whether or not the Galaxy can open up a Designated Player slot. Robbie Keane is apparently mulling retirement after this season, so Zlatan could sign with LA and head out on loan for the first half of the European season while MLS finishes up their campaign. Alternatively, with several La Liga sides chasing Gio Dos Santos, that DP slot could open up even sooner, allowing Zlatan to head to Hollywood during the current MLS campaign.
Of course, MLS could just change their rules to favor LA for the umpeenth time and let them sign him without moving anyone, but that's another matter entirely.
Regardless, the odds of Zlatan joining Napoli look very long indeed. It would be fun to dream on and hope for, but it just doesn't look likely. Alas.