"If only he'd listened to me" - Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes dig at former Manchester United team-mate Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has criticised former Manchester United team-mate Romelu Lukaku's first touch.

Ibrahimovic and Lukaku spent seven months together at Old Trafford before the former's departure in March 2018.

The Belgium international scored 42 goals in 96 appearances for United, whom he left to join Inter in the summer.

And Ibrahimovic claims he once offered Lukaku money if he demonstrated better close control.

"I will say this on Romelu: don’t expect good technique from Lukaku," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "His best strength is sheer power. If only he’d listened to me…

"At Manchester United, we made a bet: “I’ll give you £50 for every decent first touch you make.” ‘He replied, “What do I win if I get them all right?” I told him nothing, he would simply become a better player.

"For the record, he never accepted the bet! Perhaps he was afraid of losing… Joking aside, Lukaku has this mad hunger to prove himself to the world and I’m sure he will do well at Inter too."

Ibrahimovic also revealed his admiration for Inter boss Antonio Conte, with the Swedish superstar having been linked with a return to San Siro in recent weeks.

“I don’t know him personally, but everyone says he gives 500 per cent every day," he added. "We’re the same in this, so we’d have had a good time together: we both believe in work, the only way to achieve success. With him Inter have made a super signing.”

Ibrahimovic is expected to find a new club when his LA Galaxy contract expires in December, although the striker has not completely ruled out hanging up his boots.

Ibrahimovic has scored 52 goals in 56 games during his time with the MLS club, who face Minnesota United in the first round of the play-offs on Sunday.

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