WATCH: Eric Bailly hits and kicks Zlatan Ibrahimovic as imminent Man Utd return is hinted

ERIC BAILLY has dropped a massive hint Zlatan Ibrahimovic is close to returning to Manchester United.

Ibrahimovic BaillyGETTY

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly both became key players at Manchester United last season

The crocked striker is set to re-sign for United, having been released earlier in the summer.

Ibrahimovic’s cruciate ligament injury suffered in April saw the Red Devils decide against renewing his contract.

But the 35-year-old has made remarkable progress in his recovery.

His latest update posted in a video on Instagram saw Ibrahimovic twisting and kicking a punching bag.

And United defender Bailly has all but confirmed a comeback is imminent.

“Hope you’re almost ready to return, @iamzlatanibrahimovic”

Eric Bailly

Reports have claimed Ibrahimovic will put pen to paper on a new deal at Old Trafford this week.

And Bailly sent him a message on Instagram which read: “Hope you’re almost ready to return, @iamzlatanibrahimovic, I’ll be right here!”

The 23-year-old, who joined United in the same summer as Ibrahimovic, accompanied the post with a video.

It showed Ibrahimovic talking with Manchester United coaches.

And Bailly is seen catching the Swede by surprise as he punches and kicks Ibrahimovic before running away.

Ibrahimovic is then seen charging after him in the comical post.

It all suggests a return is near, although time will tell how long it will take United’s top scorer last season to get back to full fitness.

A comeback around the New Year was pencilled in, but Ibrahimovic looks ready to return earlier than that.