Zlatan Ibrahimovic says the huge salary he commands is justified because it is the market that dictates what a player is worth.
Ibrahimovic, 34, has been tipped to sign a bumper contract with Manchester United after announcing he was leaving Paris Saint-Germain last month.
And in a wide-ranging interview published by Le Monde on Tuesday, the Sweden captain appeared to confirm that his salary for the first six months of 2015 was approximately €20 million.
But when it was put to him that this seemed high, the former AC Milan and Barcelona striker said that he deserved it.
“What’s ‘a lot’?” Ibrahimovic asked. “I don’t know what ‘a lot’ is.
“For me, players are bought on the market who shouldn’t even be there. But it’s the market that decides the prices and not passion or the media. And whether it’s ‘a lot’ or not is not my problem.
“My concern is to see what the market says. The market says: ‘that, that’s your price.’ This is what the market says.
“If another player earns so much and I’m 10 times better than him, how much does that add up to? Ten times more.”
Several relatively high-profile players, including Ibrahimovic’s former PSG teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi, have been tempted by big wages currently on offer in China. And while PSG’s record goal scorer said he has not yet received an offer from a Chinese club, he admits that he can see the attraction.
“I think it represents the future for football, yes,” he said, when asked if China was the new El Dorado for players.
When asked if he could one day be reunited with Lavezzi in China, Ibrahimovic said: “That could happen. You never know.”