Smalling desperate for Ibrahimovic stay

Zlatan Ibrahimovic should extend his stay at Manchester United, according to defender Chris Smalling.

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is eager to see star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic extend his stay at the club.

Ibrahimovic is enjoying a prolific first season at United, scoring 23 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions.

Even at 35, the Swede could re-sign with the Premier League giants for a second season, with manager Jose Mourinho saying late last year he expected the forward to renew.

Smalling wants Ibrahimovic, who has 15 league goals this campaign, to remain at United for a little longer yet.

"I would definitely like to see Zlatan stay here because you can see how he has performed this year and the goals he has scored," he said, via the Mirror.

"If we can keep a player like that for as long as we can then all the players would be very happy with that.

"I'm not sure how long he can go on but I don't think age is a factor with him whatsoever. He has played as many games as anyone in the squad and contributed as well. It is down to how long he wants to go on.

"When you have a focal point like him he just wants to score goals. Even in the last couple of games when maybe we have not been playing as well as we have done, when you can score goals and rely on people like that it's brilliant."

Ibrahimovic has scored four goals in his past three games, including a hat-trick against Saint-Etienne in the Europa League on Thursday.

United are next in action on Sunday with a clash against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.