Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss AC Milan’s first leg against Manchester United through injury.
The Swedish striker was set to return to Old Trafford for the first time since 2018 when the two sides meet in the last 16 of the Europa League.
However, it has now been confirmed that Ibrahimovic will miss a reunion at Old Trafford due to a muscular injury.
The 39-year-old striker has been in terrific form for AC Milan this season, scoring 14 goals in 13 Serie A starts to help the Italian club challenge for the Serie A title.
Ibrahimovic went on record saying that his “biggest regret” was not joining United in his peak years, despite scoring 29 goals in 53 matches during his two-year stay in Manchester.
“I feel sorry for the fans – if they’d seen me younger, they’d have seen a different lion,” he told the club’s website after leaving for Major League Soccer.
“For the Premier League, it would have been dangerous, as I would have eaten them for breakfast; instead, I took them for lunch. But I came: they wanted me, I gave them me and I took over. Been there and done that.
“I would need more time to explain my feelings but let’s start with a big thanks to everybody – what they did was amazing and I hope they are as happy as I am.
Free Manchester United newsletter
Manchester United were denied a penalty in controversial fashion against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were furious that Callum Hudson-Odoi wasn’t penalised for a handball, as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge. The point leaves United 12 points behind leaders Man City, with Crystal Palace the next opponents.
MEN Sport will bring you all the build-up to and reaction from every United match. You can have it all delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter. Just put your email address in the sign-up box at the top of this article, or simply follow this link. It’s free and only takes a few seconds.
“I gave as much as I could for as long as I could; when I got injured, I got support in a different way. They always stood behind me and my teammates. They are special: everywhere I see red, I think about United.
“It will remain in history and my career; when I look back at my time with United, I will do it with a smile. I wish them all the best in the future.”