Zlatan Ibrahimovic has delivered an early Christmas gift to the rumor mill in the form of an interview with Aftonbladet's Johanna Franden, in which he declares "I can see myself conquering the US as I have with Europe".
Of course, Zlatan is not generally inclined to make modest statements, so he illuminates his conquest metaphor with a reference to Napoleon:
Lots of people stay in one place throughout their career, but I’ve traveled around like Napoleon, and conquered every new country where I’ve sat foot. So perhaps I should do what Napoleon didn’t and cross the Atlantic and conquer the States as well.
Debate where exactly Zlatan sits on the spectrum of the greatest soccer players of all time, but don't for a moment think that he is not the greatest interview subject in media history.
Ibrahimovic didn't quite say he was heading to MLS, just that playing outside Europe - and in the USA in particular - is "a huge option for me".
He gave Aftonbladet a lot to print: his thoughts on current club Manchester United ("I said from the start that we are underdogs"), Sweden's performance at Euro 2016 ("a disappointment"), and his public persona and private motivation ("Lots of people never wanted me to make it because of who I was, how I spoke and acted").
But the rumor mill will seize on his comments about America and his characteristically teasing response to the question of whether he will still be with Man Utd next season:
If I want to. We'll see.
The rumor mill will certainly see to it that his options outside the Premier League are made plain.
Zlatan doesn't fit the current understanding of the New York Red Bulls' transfer policy, but there is no shortage of other American clubs to link him to - and the rumor mill will doubtless be in touch shortly with some suggestions.