Mario Mandžukić

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Man Utd target Mandzukic leaves Juventus for Qatar’s Al-Duhail

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic has joined Qatari club Al-Duhail on a free transfer from Juventus.

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Al-Duhail announced the signing on their official website on Tuesday. The move ends speculation that the 33-year-old Mandzukic was a possible target for Manchester United.

“The team’s management succeeded today in contracting with the Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic of Juventus in a free transfer deal after the end of his contract with his Italian team,” Al-Duhail said.

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Mandzukic was a World Cup runner-up with Croatia in 2018. He scored in the 4-2 defeat to France in the final along with an own-goal in the first half.

He has been frozen out at Juventus as he neared the end of a four-year deal, which he signed when joining from Atletico Madrid in 2015.

Mandzukic could leave Juventus. Next stop, Man United?

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Does this pave the way for Mario Mandzukic to move to Manchester United?

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The Croatian forward, 33, is out of favor at Juventus and was linked with a move to the Red Devils in the summer but a move didn’t materialize. He hasn’t played at all for Juve so far this season.

Speaking to our partners Sky in Italy, Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici revealed that Mandzukic could train with a potential new team before leaving the Serie A giants in January.

“We are talking to Mandzukic to find the best possible solution. We remain open to any scenario, so staying here or going elsewhere. We are discussing it to find the best solution for both parties.”

Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri has previously stated that Mandzukic is not training per an agreement with the hierarchy of the club. Mandzukic has a contract with Juve until the summer of 2021 but if he leaves in January, Juve are unlikely to ask for a substantial transfer fee, if any, for his services.

Why would United sign the veteran striker?

The former Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid forward would likely be used for the Europa League and as back-up to Marcus Rashford and be a short-term fix up top.

With injuries hitting United hard early in the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s options have been limited with Rashford forced to play plenty of minutes as Anthony Martial was out injured.

After selling Romelu Lukaku and loaning Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan this summer, United didn’t bring in a replacement forward and Mandzukic would be a quick fix until the end of the season when they can reassess the situation and see which strikers are available.

United’s new philosophy is to sign young, hungry players and Mandzukic doesn’t fit the bill.

But he does bring experience and as Rashford continues to develop his finishing skills, the Croatian could be handy in the second half of the season when the top four battle and Europa League knockout rounds heat up. Mandzukic scored over 20 goals in three-straight seasons for Bayern Munich and then Atletico Madrid from 2012-15 and since he joined Juve in 2015 he’s hit double figures every single season, despite playing mostly in a wide role.

As a short-term solution this move makes sense. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Mandzukic, Manchester United reportedly have “verbal agreement”

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Mario Mandzukic and Manchester United have reportedly reached a verbal agreement that will allow him to join the club in January if a fee can be agreed with Juventus.

Mandzukic, 33, has not played for Juve this season and will leave sooner rather than later. Juve reportedly wants $11 million for the Croatian.

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Football-Italia says Juve has dropped its asking price about $5 million since the summer, and that Mandzukic had been recruited by clubs in Major League Soccer but prefers United.

He scored 10 goals and seven assists in 33 matches last season, about what he’s done since his 20-goal campaign with Atletico Madrid in 2014/15 inspired Juve to swoop for his services.

It would be a desperate but thrifty move for United, who needs depth but would not be adding an improvement over Marcus Rashford. In fact, the players had similar seasons last year. Rashford is obviously much younger and more explosive, but Mandzukic pitches in more defensively and has plenty of wisdom.

Would there be a better addition on the market? Our guess is yes, especially considering Ibrahimovic may be available for free. Ibrahimovic scored 29 goals with 10 assists at United before departing for two prolific seasons with the LA Galaxy (52 goals, 14 assists) and is out-of-contract on New Year’s Day.

There’s a similar vibe to Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s arrival at United, thought Mandzukic has never quite reached the prolific scoring heights of the monstrous Swede.

Report: Man United monitor Mandzukic, Wilson

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Manchester United’s striker shortage is well documented and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted if the right opportunity arises in January, the Red Devils will pounce to add another forward.

Mario Mandzukic and Callum Wilson are the latest names to be linked with a move to United.

A report from our partners at Sky Sports states that United will continue to monitor the veteran Croatian striker and the England international with a view to a move in January.

Mandzukic, 33, would be the cheaper but short-term option, while Wilson, 27, has shown his predatory instincts consistently for Bournemouth and although he would cost close to $90-100 million to sign he is a long-term project.

After selling Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and loaning Alexis Sanchez to the same club, Solskjaer is short of options in attack. Anthony Martial‘s injury has hit them hard, while Marcus Rashford has been carrying knocks and 18-year-old Mason Greenwood has had to step up and play serious minutes early in his United career.

Someone like Wilson would fit the bill perfectly for United, and although they have improved defensively they are struggling to score as they haven’t score more than once in a single PL game since the opening day of the season.

A move for Wilson would make way too much sense for United. He is relatively young, British and would feel their void for a mobile central striker.

Wilson is hungry to test himself at the next level and his scored goals whenever he has stepped up through the leagues with Bournemouth and also when arriving onto the international stage over the last 12 months. His history of picking up serious knee injuries is a concern, but when Wilson is fit he’s been a consistent scorer for the Cherries.

He has scored 38 Premier League goals for Bournemouth in 78 outings, which is close to the hallowed one goal every other game ratio. Wilson has also got off to a flying start to this season, scoring five times in his opening seven games.

Rashford doesn’t look comfortable as a central striker and Martial is better off the wing too, so if Wilson did arrive then Rashford, Martial and Daniel James would be battling for the wide positions in attack. Not a bad front line for Solskjaer to choose from.

Mandzukic would be the easier deal to get done, as Juve are looking to offload him and he’d jump at the chance to join United for the final years of his career. But this project under Solskjaer is all about bringing through young, hungry players and even though Wilson is 27 years old, he was a late bloomer and still has plenty left in the tank.

United have the cash and even though Bournemouth will not want to sell, especially midseason, they will realize this will be the most chance they can get to maximize their profits on Wilson after he signed a new contract over the summer. The Cherries also have Dominic Solanke learning from Wilson and improving all the time, and he is lined up to take over from Wilson if and when he does leave.

If United are serious about finishing in the top four, they have to make a big move for Wilson in January.

They have been linked with Erling Haaland, Ousmane Dembele and Timo Werner in the last week alone, but Wilson would be the safest and most sensible purchase from that list of potential targets.

Report: LAFC hot in pursuit of Juventus, Croatia star Mandzukic

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The rich are (reportedly) about to get much richer.

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Los Angeles FC, the team set to claim the MLS Supporters’ Shield by a record margin in the next few weeks, are in “advanced negotiations” with star Juventus and Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic, according to a report from Sky Sport Italia.

Because, if there is a team that needs to add a veteran of two World Cups and two European Championships with 33 career international goals to his name, it is the team that needs 10 more goals (in five games) to break the league’s single-season goals record. Mandzukic retired from the national team shortly after helping Croatia to final of the 2018 World Cup. He scored three goals during the tournament, including one each in the semifinals and final.

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According to the report, Mandzukic, who Juventus desperately tried to sell during the recently completed transfer window, has received a few gaudy offers from clubs in Qatar, but it would appear that the 33-year-old feels he still has more to give in a more competitive league. Mandzukic’s highly productive career has taken him from NK Zagreb and Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, to Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich in Germany, to Juventus in Italy.

While Mandzukic has not appeared in either of Juve’s two competitive fixtures this season and they would be happy to move his salary off the books tomorrow, MLS’s secondary transfer window recently closed as well, therefore he wouldn’t be able to join LAFC until preseason 2020.

12 months from now, we might be counting down the goals needed for LAFC to break their own record.