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Man United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return 'when I'm ready to perform'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he is hopeful of playing for Manchester United again but insists he will not return until he is "ready to perform."

The 36-year-old has not featured since Boxing Day after aggravating the knee injury that required surgery in May.

He returned to training last month, but the Swede, who has been restricted to just seven appearances this season, does not want to rush his comeback.

"I want to get to the point where I can perform as I haven't been able to take part so much during the season," he told Reuters. "When I'm ready to perform. It's all about that."

Ibrahimovic is facing a race against time if he wants to pull on a Manchester United shirt again before the end of the season.

Jose Mourinho's team have a maximum of 11 games left should they make it to the FA Cup final.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has joined Manchester United from PSG in July 2016.

Mourinho has suggested Ibrahimovic will leave Old Trafford at the end of the current campaign.

The striker has been linked with a move to LA Galaxy but he says no decision has been made.

"Speculation has been there all my life. It's about focusing on the right things and doing the right things. I still want to play. It's nothing I can decide now, but the idea is to keep playing."

Ibrahimovic has also left the door open for a return to international football with Sweden ahead of the World Cup.

He retired in 2016 but has hinted he would welcome a call-up for the tournament in Russia this summer.

"The thoughts are there the whole time," he said. "But if I want to, I'll be there."

Meanwhile, former Chelsea Adrian Mutu has also weighed in on Ibrahimovic's situation at Manchester United.

"I know for a fact that Ibrahimovic is not injured," he told Telekom Sport. "His relationship with [Jose] Mourinho is very cold, that is why he is not playing at the moment."

Mutu has played for Chelsea in the 2003-2004 season and was sold when Mourinho joined the club in June 2004.

"I don't hold a grudge against Mourinho for having sold me," he said. "He never played a spectacular kind of football, he always thought of the result first."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.

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