The wait for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a Manchester United shirt is finally over. The marquee summer signing is all set to make his debut for Jose Mourinho's side in his own country when Manchester United play Galatasaray in a preseason friendly in Gothenburg on Saturday.
Mourinho decided to give Ibrahimovic an extended break after Euro 2016, with the now retired Sweden international not travelling with the team to their ill-fated tour of China, where Manchester United ended up playing just one match in the International Champions Cup.
The 34-year-old striker, signed on a free transfer from PSG, was expected to make his debut at either the Galatasaray friendly or in Wayne Rooney's testimonial next Wednesday, but the club have confirmed the Swede's participation in front of his own fans.
"Everybody has been waiting for that moment," Ibrahimovic told MUTV. "There has been a lot of talk and to make my debut in my country will feel great.
"I think the fans are waiting for me to come back and they are waiting to enjoy not only me, but the team as well. Hopefully, we can give them a good game and, at the same time, we are in the preparation. We need to keep focused, to build up the physical part and the conditioning part but we will give them what they want."
Mourinho would not have liked to lose out on one preseason game, after the Manchester derby against Manchester City was cancelled in Beijing, but the Portuguese will look to make the most of this opportunity against Galatsaray to get his senior players, including Wayne Rooney, up to speed ahead of the new season, which is just two weeks away.
"The players have been fantastic in their attitude," Mourinho told the club's official website. "We have done a number of double training sessions, but I am not worried about them being tired on Saturday as the reality is we have to work and are looking at the game tomorrow as one more training session because the players need minutes – we will need to recover from that too."
Chris Smalling and Tomothy Fosu-Mensah have been left behind, while Bastian Schweinsteiger, who announced his international retirement on Friday, is not involved in the squad, despite the likes of Anthony Martial and Morgan Schneiderlin returning.
Manchester United squad: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ashley Young, Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Memphis Depay, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Where to Watch Live
Manchester United vs Galatsaray is scheduled for a 7.30 p.m. local time (11 p.m. IST, 6.30 p.m. BST, 1.30 p.m. ET) start.Live coverage of the match in the UK will be on MUTV. Viewers around the world, including India, can watch the action by live streaming on MUTV Online. Zlatan's Swedish fans can watch Manchester United vs Galatsaray live on Kanal 5 Sweden, while the preseason friendly will be broadcast live on Turkey on Smartspor.