Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho thinks striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will stay at the club for another year.
Ibrahimovic, 35, joined United in the summer on a one-year deal – with an option to extend his stay at Old Trafford for a second season.
The Swede has scored 26 goals in 38 games this season, including two in the 3-2 EFL Cup final win over Southampton.
“I never beg a player to play for me, but we all want and believe he will stay one more season,” said Mourinho.
“I never beg for a player to sign a contract. But if needed, the fans can go to the door of his house and stay there all night.”
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Ibrahimovic joined United from Paris St-Germain on a free transfer.
He collected the 32nd trophy of his career after heading an 87th-minute winner at Wembley, having earlier given his side the lead with a brilliant 19th-minute free-kick.
Jesse Lingard put United 2-0 in front before Manolo Gabbiadini scored twice for the Saints to level, after having an 11th-minute effort contentiously ruled out for offside.
Mourinho, who also managed Ibrahimovic at Inter Milan, added: “Zlatan won the game for us because he was outstanding.
“When he went to Barcelona [from Inter, in 2009], I was very sad. I know the potential. Only a silly player comes to England if he doesn’t feel he can do it. Who better to know? Him. Not me or you.
“When he decided to come here it is because he feels ready. It is not my credit. It is him. Nothing for me.”
‘This is what I came for’
When asked about his future at Old Trafford earlier in February, Ibrahimovic replied: “Nothing is done. We’ll wait and see.”
Speaking after Sunday’s final, he said: “Wherever I have gone I have won. I think this is trophy number 32 for me. This is what I predicted.
“My friend, I keep doing it. I am enjoying it in England. You appreciate it more the older you get. This is what I came for – to win, and I am winning.”
‘Echoes of Cantona’ – analysis
BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty
Mourinho’s move to bring Ibrahimovic in on a free transfer from Paris St-Germain was strategic and wise. He is a personality of equal stature and confidence, had a point to prove having never played in England and could provide the sort of charisma that had echoes of the great Eric Cantona.
How United needed Ibrahimovic on Sunday because for long periods they were desperately average, outplayed by Southampton and had their hand held by Lady Luck throughout.
If United are to build on this first trophy of the Mourinho era, Ibrahimovic’s continued presence is essential because the EFL Cup final win is only the first building block in an edifice that requires considerable renovation after the dismal post-Sir Alex Ferguson years of David Moyes and Van Gaal.
Zlatan’s cup final record – the stats
- Ibrahimovic has scored six goals in his past five domestic cup finals (adding to four goals in four with PSG)
- He has scored more than any Premier League player this season – 26 goals in all competitions
- His opening goal was the first Southampton conceded in this year’s EFL Cup – after 468 minutes of football
Mourinho: 19 trophies, five clubs
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