ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC has turned down a £13million offer by Manchester United to pay him while he is injured.
Manager Jose Mourinho told the 35-year-old he wants to trigger the extra year of his contract despite his devastating knee injury.
But Ibra does not believe it would be right to accept that kind gesture while he will not be playing.
This means the Swede could have called time on his Old Trafford career.
He suffered an anterior cruciate knee injury after landing awkwardly in the final minute of United’s Europa League win over Anderlecht.
Ibra will be out for nine months, which means he will not be able to play again until next year.
While he could start earning his money again then, he does not want to take it while he is in rehabilitation.
When he signed for United last summer, Ibra signed a one-year deal worth £250,000 a week, with an option for a further year if both sides agreed.
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After an incredible season in which he has hit 28 goals, United wanted him to stay — but then came the injury.
As it is, the board gave the thumbs-up to trigger the extra year in any case as an act of loyalty to the player who has given them so much this season. It is testament to the man that he turned down the offer.
Mourinho believes Ibra’s career is not over and backs him to show the same determination that has been evident all through his career in coming back.
The United chief said: “The future is a big surgery, a long period of recovery. But the future is also about a very strong guy, mentally very, very strong, who wrote immediately on his social media he will stop when he wants, not when people think.
“It looks to me that he is not going to give up, he is going
to fight and I’m pleased. He has fought all his life — since he was born. I don’t see a reason for him not to fight now.”