Celtic: Zlatan Ibrahimovic link is nice compliment - Neil Lennon

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Manager Neil Lennon joked that Zlatan Ibrahimovic may struggle to hold down a Celtic place after a report suggested the Swedish superstar could finish his career in Glasgow.

"He'd have to play well to get in our team," was Lennon's lighthearted response to the Scottish Sun's story.

"It's one of those stories - I don't know how true it is - but it would be wonderful if we could get that type of player to the club.

"I think that's a long way off yet."

Ibrahimovic, 32, is with French champions Paris St-Germain and counts Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and AC Milan among his former clubs.

And the Sun quotes the skilful forward saying: "Celtic is a club with a big tradition and a place any top player would want to end their career.

"How could I say I wouldn't want to play for those fans every week?"

Lennon got the better of Ibrahimovic when Celtic knocked Ajax out of Champions League qualifying in 2001, with the Swede appearing as a second-half substitute at Parkhead.

When asked about the newspaper story, Lennon told BBC Scotland: "It's a nice compliment for the club and just shows the reputation we have built up over the years.

"That's testament to the players' performances over the last couple of seasons - the supporters as well and what they bring to Celtic Park on European nights.

"I think a lot of players and coaches would like to sample that on a regular basis."

The Sun story says Ibrahimovic has discussed Celtic with his fellow Swede Henrik Larsson, who spent seven years with the Scottish champions.

"Henrik was good enough to play for any team in Europe," the report continues.

"But after playing at Celtic Park it is easy to understand why he chose to stay there for so long.

"No player would ever want to leave playing in the stadium for those fans. It's a beautiful condition to play in.

"I have played in the biggest games in world football. But I have never experienced an atmosphere like I did at Celtic Park."

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