Manchester United stance on Mario Mandzukic in transfer window
Manchester United are discussing Mario Mandzukic in their talks with Juventus but a deal for the Croat remains unlikely.
United are holding dialogue with Juve over a potential swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku, 26, and Paulo Dybala, 25, or the 33-year-old Mandzukic.
Dybala is yet to decide on whether to join United and is holding out for a salary of €10million a year net ahead of the 5pm Premier League deadline on Thursday, so United are keeping their options open.
Since there are so many variables involved with a possible exchange deal, United have refused to rule out a move for Mandzukic and concede there is a remote chance he could eventually be involved, but sources have told the MEN it still unlikely.
United’s preference is to recruit players aged 26 and under and their two incomings so far – Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka – are 21 and the £80million Harry Maguire is 26. Mandzukic turns 34 this season and has never played in the Premier League.
It would perhaps be regarded as slightly hypocritical if United were to accept Mandzukic, since the club last year said they were distancing themselves from the supposed ‘short-term’ targets former manager Jose Mourinho favoured.
United have also settled on a new intense style of play with fluid forwards and, though Mandzukic can play on the flank and through the middle, he is arguably more immobile than the wantaway Lukaku.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last month stressed United would bring in a replacement for Lukaku if he were to leave and Dybala and/or Mandzukic have emerged as options.
When Solskjaer was still United caretaker manager earlier this year, he told a Norwegian podcast ‘you don’t need to be a rocket scientist’ to accept Dybala.
“We have scouts looking,” Solskjaer said. “But if you say that we need a false nine, then we don’t need to scout Messi or Dybala.
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to say that, ‘We’ll take him’!”