Zlatan statue set to challenge real Zlatan for place in Man Utd starting XI

Mourinho to offer Rooney in part-exchange for commemorative effigy.

Zlatan Ibrahimović's position under threat from statue
NEW CHALLENGER: Zlatan (Image: Ardfern)

Zlatan Ibrahimović’s status as a first-team regular at Man Utd could soon be under threat – from a statue of himself.

The statue will be erected outside Stockholm’s Friends Arena to commemorate Ibrahimović being named as Sweden’s footballer of the year for a tenth consecutive occasion.

But José Mourinho is already plotting a January swoop for it in a bid to boost his flagging strike force – and Wayne Rooney could be used as bait in a part-exchange.

Speaking exclusively to Football Burp, Mourinho hinted he’s considering switching to two up top with the real Zlatan lining up alongside statue Zlatan.

He said: “It’s not out of the question that they could play together, certainly not.

“Statue Zlatan could take some of the load off real Zlatan in terms of standing around the penalty spot with his arms on his hips.

“And whereas real Zlatan tends to flinch, I’m sure we could teach Antonio Valencia to whip pinpoint crosses onto statue Zlatan’s nose.

“Like Fellaini’s hair, it’s ideally shaped for the ball to cannon unpredictably off so it’s been frustrating not being able to maximise use of the flesh and bone one.

“There’s so much an inanimate stone Zlatan could offer us that a moving, feeling one just can’t.”