There are bizarre transfer stories every year. Deals that just don't make sense, deals that do but fall apart for no apparent reason and high-visibility pursuits that go absolutely nowhere. This summer, though, the strangest transfer saga has probably been this slow-burning pursuit of AC Milan trying to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic into a rossonero shirt again.
It's been like some bizarre rom-com love story trying to play out, with two people who clearly want to be with one another running into one roadblock after another. They date for a hot minute and things look great, but they break up because of circumstances they can't control. Then after some time apart, they realize they can't live without each other and blah blah blah.
That's been the story of Zlatan and Milan. They had two great years together, including Milan's last Serie A title win, and the Swedish godling scored a ton of goals while he was there. But then Milan's financial woes took hold in a serious way, and with Zlatan getting paid some massive wages, they had to go their separate ways, with Ibrahimovic heading to Paris Saint-Germain and Milan turning to such striking luminaries as ... Giampaolo Pazzini. Yikes.
So that sense of nostalgia certainly helps explain some of why Milan want Zlatan to come back so badly, but is there any reason beyond wanting to get that old flame back?
With new investors snapping up a huge chunk of the club and a new manager at the helm, Milan want to start flexing their financial muscles again. The trouble is, they've been between bad and mediocre since, well, the last time Zlatan was wearing the black and red shirt, so attracting the kind of talent they need to get back into the title hunt in Italy will be difficult at best. Snagging Zlatan, even at 33, would go a long ways towards helping attract other quality players to the side, guys who want to play with that level of star.
It's not a guarantee, and it's a big risk considering that he'd still have big wages, and it's an even further big risk because at this age, Zlatan's skills could just fall off a cliff at any time, leaving him an expensive anchor in the squad. But if Milan can get even one good season out of the big Swede, it could help push a revival at the San Siro that finally gets Milan moving in the right direction again.
Sure, right now Milan look like a crazy ex getting up to crazy antics to get their old lover back, but there's still a very good chance of a beautiful, sappy-happy ending thanks to some crazy plot twist. It may seem crazy on the surface, but Milan have a lot of good reasons to want Zlatan back in the fold. It's not without risks, sure, but there's a lot of upside to the move, and not just from what Zlatan can do on the pitch by himself. So go on, Milan. Go get your guy.