My calendar tells me that it is, in fact, December 30th and not April 1st, otherwise known as April Fool's Day. How else could one explain the sudden rash of rumors connecting none other than The Zlatan, Mr. Ibrahimovic himself, with a return to Italian football, and to Roma of all places? These aren't the sort of winter transfer rumors to which we've grown accustomed over the past few seasons. Alberto Gilardino was supposed to be our midseason offensive reinforcement, not #DaretoZlatan, not the man who once did this, or this or this.
Why It Makes Sense
This is what he did with PSG at age 32, so consider those highlights a mere smattering of what Zlatan can still dare to do. But if you need empirical proof of what Ibrahimovic is still capable of, try this on for size. In 2012-2013, Ibra's first in Paris, he scored a whopping 30 goals, which led the league by a comfortable margin, while his eight assists were tied for fifth in France. Zlatan managed to do himself one better the following season, as his 26 goals scored and 11 assists paced Ligue 1, while knocking in an additional 10 goals in European play.
While Zlatan has always been a nearly unrivaled goal scoring machine, his game has risen to even greater heights as he's matured, adding a new layer of play making to his already impressive portfolio. Simply put, there aren't many men on the planet who have their hands in as many goals as Zlatan does.
And with 10 goals in 15 appearances across all competitions, Ibrahimovic is showing no signs of slowing down. So, if ever Roma were to cast aside Mattia Destro for short term gains, Ibrahimovic is precisely the type of player around whom long term plans are altered. His amalgam of skills and absurd nose for goal would be the perfect complement to Totti's playmaking and Gervinho's pace.
Why it Doesn't Make Sense
Twelve million. As in Euros. As in the number 12 followed by six zeros. As in, he makes way too much for Roma's historically reserved payroll, particularly in light of their current commitments. So while we can salivate at the thought of Totti and Ibra playing off one another, this one seems too farfetched, even for a transfer rumor.
BUT, and there is always a but. Ibra is a proven winner, has eviscerated Italian defenses in the past, and one would imagine they can recoup a significant portion of his transfer fee in shirt sales alone, so if James Pallotta wanted to make a statement, to truly fire a shot across the Old Lady's bow, to lay claim to the Serie A throne, this would be it.
It ain't happening. Go back to work.