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Manchester United announce return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on one-year deal

Manchester United have re-signed striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a new one-year contract, the club announced on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic was released at the end of last season following a major injury but is now back at Old Trafford for the 2017-18 campaign.

In April, he suffered a knee ligament injury that brought his first season in the Premier League to a premature end.

United then decided not to exercise their option to extend his deal with the 35-year-old, but after undergoing surgery in the United States, Ibrahimovic could now return before the end of 2017.

Manager Jose Mourinho told the club's official website: "We are delighted Zlatan is on the road to recovery and we are equally delighted to have his ambition and experience back with us.

"After his contribution last season he deserves our trust and we will be patient waiting for him to return. I have no doubt that he will be important in the second part of the season."

Ibrahimovic, who will wear the No. 10 shirt this season, said: "I am back to finish what I started. It was always mine and the club's intention for me to stay.

"I cannot wait to get back out on that Old Trafford pitch, but I also know that I have to take my time to make sure that I am ready. I have been working hard and will continue to do so to make sure I am in the best possible condition for my return to the pitch."

After releasing Ibrahimovic in June, Mourinho and United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward continued to make the club's training and medical facilities at their Carrington base available to the striker.

Despite deciding to let Ibrahimovic go, they were always open to the possibility of him returning if he could prove his fitness, and United staff and Ibrahimovic's surgeons in Pittsburgh have been impressed with his recovery.

Marcos Rojo, who suffered a less severe knee ligament injury in the same game against Anderlecht, returned to training with the first team on Tuesday.

Ibrahimovic arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain and scored 28 goals in 46 games, including 17 in the Premier League, before injury ended his campaign.

The former Sweden captain missed the Europa League final against former club Ajax in the Friends Arena in Stockholm, a stadium that will soon have a statue of Ibrahimovic placed outside.

In July, United's new £75 million striker Romelu Lukaku revealed he had asked Ibrahimovic's permission to wear the No. 9 shirt this season.

He said: "Strikers play with No. 9. It's a nice number, and I asked the permission of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I want to thank him, as well, for allowing me to wear that number."

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

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