All signs indicate that Mario Mandzukic will leave Atletico Madrid and become the featured striker at Juventus after manager Massimiliano Allegri confirmed his signing.
“He’s got character, is an internationally experienced player and he’s going to do well in Italy,” Allegri confirmed to Sky Sports Italia. “We’ve signed him because we wanted him. He’s a great player and I’m delighted about his arrival.”
The transfer is the fourth in six summers for Mandzukic, and marks the third time in a row he will join the loser of the Champions League final, having moved to Bayern Munich in 2012 and Atletico Madrid in 2014.
In his lone season in Serie A, Mandzukic scored 12 goals in 28 league matches, plus another five in 10 Champions League games including a hat-trick against Olympiacos to give Atletico a spot in the knockout stage. However, he faded down the stretch of the season following Atletico’s elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid, as Diego Simeone preferred a combination of Fernando Torres, Antoine Griezmann, and Raul Garcia up front. As a result, Mandzukic played in just five of Atletico’s final 12 league matches, starting just three times as he failed to score during that stretch.
Now, the 29-year-old will get a chance to be a force in Italy’s Serie A, having already been a proven goalscorer in both the German Bundesliga and in Spain. He will likely replace Carlos Tevez, who is rumored to be on his way to his boyhood club Boca Juniors after scoring 20 league goals this past season for the Champions League finalists. Mandzukic will join an attack consisting of 30-year-old Fernando Llorente, who made 31 appearances last season and scored seven goals, and former Real Madrid youth product Alvaro Morata who bagged some crucial Champions League goals.