Late last night, after D.C. United lost a heartbreaker to the Philadelphia Union, a rumor from abroad popped up in our feeds. Normally, I would reject this kind of rumor out of hand (and by the headline, you can tell that I still do). However, this was printed in L'Equipe, which is a major French newspaper, so I present here so you may do with it what you may.
According to L'Equipe, it is rumored that D.C. United love Zlatan Ibrahimovic and would like to bring him to the team. Apparently, NFL cornerback Josh Norman and Zlatan have become friends, and now that Norman plays in Washington that might somehow help United. The fact that Norman and Zlatan are buddies is true; they met last year while Norman still played for the Carolina Panthers, and Norman flew to Paris to watch Zlatan's last game for PSG a few days ago. However, the possibility that he could have an effect on Zlatan is basically none.
More practically, there are plenty of barriers that would prevent Zlatan coming to D.C. The biggest one, of course, is the money: Zlatan would be the highest paid player in the league's history, and only certain types of teams can afford that price. The second is the location: D.C. is a world-class city, but I can't really see Zlatan going anywhere but Los Angeles, New York, or Miami (and they don't have a team yet). And he is also wanted by teams around the world, from the Premier League to Italy, and an already direct link to Los Angeles (whether it be the Galaxy or LAFC). Finally, the facilities: I just don't see Zlatan training on the RFK Auxiliary fields and playing in RFK week in and week out. In two years, with a new stadium, definitely, but that is exactly the kind of need that the new stadium is supposed to address (among many others).
It never hurts to dream, but don't get too invested in Zlatan coming back to the stadium in which he scored his first goal for PSG. This isn't like the last time we dismissed a ridiculous rumor out of hand, which then happened. Zlatan isn't coming to D.C. United.