Zlatan Ibrahimovic has again teased fans over the prospect of him taking part in the World Cup, even though Sweden head coach Janne Andersson insists the enigmatic striker is not in his plans.
Sweden's all-time leading goalscorer retired from international football after his country bowed out in the group stage of Euro 2016.
A play-off win over Italy in November saw the Scandinavian nation battle their way to Russia 2018 in the absence of their former talisman, who is enjoying a new lease of life after joining LA Galaxy from Manchester United.
Ibrahimovic, 36, suffered cruciate knee ligament damage last April and found himself on the periphery at Old Trafford this term, but has scored three times in as many MLS appearances.
Asked by reporters in Los Angeles whether he would be at the finals, he replied: "I'm going to the World Cup, yes."
On whether that would be in a playing capacity, Ibrahimovic stuck to the line he gave to talk show host Jimmy Kimmel earlier this week.
"If I give you more you will get too many followers [on social media], so we'll keep it like this [under wraps]," he said.
Nevertheless, Sweden boss Andersson told TV4's Fotbollskanalen he has not held any talks with Ibrahimovic and is preparing for a World Cup without the former Inter and Paris Saint-Germain star.
"Zlatan and a number of other players said they did not want to join the national team after the European Championships in France, and I respect that," Andersson said.
"But what the media is speculating about and what Zlatan himself is talking about, I cannot relate to that. I relate to what has been said between us.
"We have had a deal where we agreed on what was going on and where he was very clear to me. I agreed with that."
Andersson stated Ibrahimovic has not called him to discuss World Cup participation and was clear when asked whether the forward was part of Sweden's plans.
"No, absolutely not," he added. "Because he has said 'no'.
"The others who have said 'no' are not included either. Those who are included are those who have said 'yes'."
|´Incredible´ Salah is like Messi, says Ronaldo|
|Salah a big candidate for Ballon d´Or - Muller|
|Message from coach keeping Masters champion Reed grounded|
|Anybody can really win it - Seles feels French Open is wide open this year|
|Mambo number 5! - Non-league star channels Lou Bega hit|
|Pakistan to stop wearing smart watches after ICC intervention - Hasan|
|Saha hails ´great man´ Ferguson as legendary Man Utd boss continues recovery|
|Emery´s depth of knowledge impressed Arsenal´s Gazidis|
|Conceicao extends Porto contract|
|Lomax impresses as Saints overrun Tigers|
|McIlroy in contention at Wentworth as Bjerregaard sets the early pace|
|Bad light calls time on Thiem, Wawrinka out in Geneva|
|Garitano in, Canales out at Real Sociedad|
|Caparros accepts new role at Sevilla|
|Pliskova downed by Larsson after drawing Serena in Paris|
|They´re using the anthem as fake patriotism - Warriors coach Kerr critical of NFL|
|Lyon win record fifth Women´s Champions League title|
|French Open 2018: Doing the unthinkable - the men most likely to topple Nadal|
|French Open 2018: How can Rafael Nadal be stopped?|
|Steve Smith named as marquee player for Global T20 Canada|
|Can Emre play? Yes he Can... and so can Milner|
|Liverpool working to help fans after flight cancellations|
|Abbas and Hasan torment sorry England|
|Xavi ´thrilled´ to sign two-year Al Sadd extension|
|Holtby extends Hamburg contract despite relegation|
|Nadal begins French Open defence against Dolgopolov|
|Serena drawn to play Pliskova in French Open first round|
|FA condemns assault of match official|
|Bologna confirm Donadoni departure|
|Yates lead halved in Giro d´Italia|
|Connacht turn to Friend|
|Scotland lose injured Dunbar for June tour|
|Spalletti in ´no rush´ to sign new Inter deal|
|Ricciardo and Red Bull dominate Monaco practice|
|Mauricio Pochettino signs new deal with Tottenham|
|Pochettino signs new deal with Tottenham|
|Istanbul to host 2020 Champions League final|
|Williams sisters given French Open wildcard|
|President Donald Trump praises NFL´s anthem stance|
|Buffon in consideration for Italy call, says Mancini|
|Roberts injured in Broncos win against Eels|
|Atletico complete move for Villarreal star Rodri|
|Ozil, Gundogan not playing politics, says Low|
|Valencia complete permanent Kondogbia signing|
|Fairytale ending could be in the script, says World Cup-bound Vardy|
|Milwaukee police apologise to Bucks´ Brown over tasering|
|Television, crosswords and Nintendo - Koscielny´s remedy to World Cup heartache|
|World Cup not an audition for Barca or Madrid, says Germany star Werner|
|Neck injury rules Kohli out of Surrey stint|
|Nine LaLiga titles and 674 club games under nine managers - Iniesta in Opta numbers|
|49ers Enterprises takes stake in Leeds United|
|Manchester United should sell Pogba if he´s unhappy - Scholes|
|Andres Iniesta´s nine LaLiga triumphs with Barcelona|
|Andres Iniesta: The footballers´ footballer|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Salah has foundations in place for Ballon d´Or challenge|
|Iniesta´s Vissel Kobe move confirmed|
|Low upbeat over Neuer´s World Cup hopes|
|´No secrets´ in playoffs, says Celtics rookie Tatum|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Salah takes his chances better than Ronaldo - Opta|
|Cubs, Yankees find very different ways to lose|
|Cole hoping to see Rooney in MLS amid DC United links|
|LeBron feeling worn down following Cavs loss|
|Rahm enjoys ´traditional golf courses´|
|Upbeat Spieth eyeing first win of 2018|
|Ovechkin leads Capitals into Stanley Cup Finals|
|Federer: Serena may be the greatest of all-time|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Gremio top group, River and Flamengo draw|
|Celtics rebound with key game-five win over Cavs|
|Warriors duo Thompson, Iguodala questionable for game five|
|Suarez: Iniesta hard to replace at Barcelona|