Instead of accompanying his Manchester United team-mates on their pre-season tour of China, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will receive a tailor-made preparation program.
The Red Devils’ marquee signing will not feature in their annual participation in the International Champions Cup, something that new manager Jose Mourinho says is part of a unique approach to players’ preparation for life at Old Trafford.
“Suits made to measure should be better than going to a shop and just buying a size that may fit you well or not so well,” Mourinho told reporters at a press conference in Shanghai.
“I do the same for players. There are no two players the same. My decision on Zlatan is the consequence of many hours of study, analysis and discussion with my staff.
“Despite the fact he was out of the Euros one match before the English guys, everything is different. The body is different, the mind is different and the timing to have holidays and even things you don’t know, and don’t have to know, is to prepare in a different way like we do at training level.
“We try to do suits by measure that are perfect for the person and the way I’m building the team is more important for me with the players from other positions than the one I think who is going to play as the striker.
“I need to change the profile of the team in relation to other dynamics. The striker will be the easy one to finish the puzzle.”