Zlatan Ibrahimovic has poked fun at Liverpool's defensive injury crisis during a public appearance at the Sanremo Festival in Italy.

The former Manchester United striker is guesting at the 80-year-old music festival from March 2-6.

And on the opening night, he couldn't resist a swipe at his former rivals and their woes this season.

Appearing on stage, the 39-year-old joked about hosting his own festival and wanting a stage as big as the San Siro pitch.

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And with 27 singers performing at the Sanremo Festival, Ibrahimovic made light of Liverpool 's injury list when suggesting he would have to sell four of the artists so they could have an 11 v 11 match on stage.

"First of all, the Zlatan Festival will have 22 singers," he said. "Eleven against eleven otherwise it is not regulated.

"I’ll sell four since there are 27 singers in the competition, there is Liverpool looking for defenders, otherwise I’ll put them in the garden and let them work.

"The second rule concerns the stage, that’s not good, it’s made for little people like you (addressed to host Amadeus).

"I need 105 by 68 meters like San Siro, otherwise the Festival is cancelled for me."

Liverpool's injury problems in defence have been well-documented this season with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all expected to be sidelined until the summer, Fabinho only just returning from his latest setback and emergency cover Jordan Henderson out of action until April.