Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s rumoured return to international football appears to be dead in the water after Sweden manager Janne Andersson said the matter is “closed”.

He has scored 19 goals in 27 games, including eight in seven this season, and a post on social media this week sparked rumours that he was aiming to make an unlikely comeback.

The forward posted a picture of himself in Sweden kit with the caption: “Long time no see”.

Ibrahimovic is Sweden’s all-time leading scorer with 62 goals in 116 appearances but his relationship with the national team’s hierarchy has not always been good.

In September, he responded to news that Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski had not been called up by Andersson with the comment: “What a f*cking joke. Further proof. Incompetent people in the wrong positions that suffocate Swedish football.”

Now, Andersson has seemingly snuffed out any chance of Ibrahimovic making a return under his management.

Asked about the forward’s photo by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, he said: “There were some people who told me there was a plan behind that photo.

“But I don’t understand what it means, it’s beyond me. I won’t waste too much energy on it.

“It has been four and a half years since he said he had finished his career in the national team. I have the utmost respect for him, just like many other players who have made the same decision. You can recover a bit during the international break, you don’t have the same pressures.

“If, on the other hand, you are part of the national team, you have to return to your country and play at the highest level again.I fully respect those who don’t feel this motivation 100 per cent. So, the matter is closed for me.”

Sweden are currently without a point from their first four games in the UEFA Nations League. They will play Denmark, Croatia and France in the November international break.

Source : goal.com