Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has admitted signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic could prove ‘difficult’ but he is optimistic the Premier League newcomers can get Edinson Cavani.
The Yorkshire club sealed their promotion to the top flight over the weekend after a 16-year absence and Radrizzani appears determined to make a statement by signing his return.
After trying to persuade 38-year-old Swedish striker Ibrahimovic to come to Elland Road in January – he signed for AC Milan instead – Leeds could try again, but Radrizzani thinks it’s a long way off.
Leeds Italian owner Andrea Radrizzani wants to make a statement signing ahead of the club’s return to the Premier League next season
But he admitted that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s signing this summer will be ‘difficult’ after Leeds failed for the 38-year-old Swedish striker in the January window.
Getting free agent Edinson Cavani, who was released by Paris Saint-Germain in June, is a bigger possibility, according to Leeds chief
“Ibrahimovic will definitely be difficult,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“We tried to sign him in January, but he chose to join Milan and the deal fell apart.
“Now I think it’s too late, the intensity of English football is different. “
Ibrahimovic thrived in the Premier League kick and push with Manchester United, scoring 29 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions between 2016 and 2017.
He has scored six goals in 16 appearances for Milan since his return but has yet to sign up for a club for the 2020-21 season.
But Radrizzani had more hope of convincing another well-known striker, 33-year-old Uruguayan Cavani, to sign after his release by Paris Saint-Germain.
Ibrahimovic returned to AC Milan in January following interest from a number of clubs
Cavani, 33, is looking for a new club for next season after being released by PSG
‘In addition to his quality, Cavani could contribute with his physicality and adapt here, but I never spoke about him with the coach. [Marcelo Bielsa]Said Radrizzani.
“That said, we’ve certainly thought of him and we’ll see, given he’s still available on a free transfer. “
Cavani struggled to buy time in a season with PSG that was cut short when the French league decided to wrap up the season in April because of Covid-19.
But he still managed to score seven times in 22 appearances, mostly in cup competitions.
Leeds side celebrate promotion to Premier League after Sunday’s Derby win
PSG have announced that Cavani will leave them at the end of the season following the conclusion of the Champions League, but subsequent lists of contract extensions did not include his name.
Leeds’ promotion to the Premier League was sealed when the closest challengers West Bromwich Albion lost to Huddersfield Town on Friday night.
And their championship was confirmed on Saturday when Brentford lost to Stoke City, sparking wild celebrations as thousands of fans gathered outside Elland Road and in the city center.
Leeds end their league season with a home game against Charlton on Wednesday night and receive the trophy thereafter.