Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has confirmed that they have reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid over the transfer of Mario Mandzukic.
Mandzukic started 21 league games last season as the Guardiola used Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze in a false nine role at times. With the arrival of Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund, the Croatian would be receded to the bench.
Sammer warned off clubs in April that nobody even had to bother with making a bid for the player, despite speculations doing rounds that Arsenal and Chelsea were interested in getting the player they thought the Bavarian giants won’t need next season. Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer had said at the time, “Nobody even has to bother making an approach for Mandzukic. He is incredibly important to Bayern. I always affectionately say that he plays like an animal. It is simply amazing how much work he does for the team and how much running he does during a game.”
However, Mario himself publicly stated his desire to leave Bayern Munich in the summer when he was preparing with Croatia for the World Cup. The player said in a statement:
“A lot has been written and said about my future, especially before the German cup final in Berlin and I can tell you that before this – I think on May 8 – along with my agent Ivan Cvjetkovic, we had a decent conversation and exchange of views with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge [Bayern chief executive.
“I said to him that I had decided to change and that it was fair to inform him and the club’s leadership.
“He knows I’m not fond of the constant media appearances and continuously clarifying things in the media.
“I think it is fine that I was frank with the club. Bayern is a fantastic club, and indeed it was not until recently that I thought about going – I never thought it would happen like this, but let’s be honest – I do not correspond with the style of game that Guardiola wants to play.
“After the first game with Real Madrid [in the Champions League semi-finals] I definitely realised that no matter what happened I could not be at my best.
“Because of this, I think it is best that we part company.
“I thank the club for offering me a contract extension, and I thank Guardiola who is a great coach and I wish everyone at the club well in future, their fans have always been beautiful with me – but now it’s time for a new challenge.”
It was revealed yesterday that Atletico had successfully negotiated a deal to sign the player from Bayern.
Sammer revealed at a press conference that Bayern have verbally agreed a deal for Mandzukic to join Atletico Madrid this summer for an undisclosed fee- a fee being reported as £17.5million
“There’s a verbal agreement between Atletico and Bayern and between Mario Mandzukic and Atletico”, he said
“There’s nothing signed yet but I think we can trust those words. We thank Mario Mandzukic and we will always remember the successes we have achieved together.
“He has always acted correctly and as a role model. I can only say positive things about him.”
Diego Costa and David Villa, the two strikers in Atletico’s highly successful left the club for different countries and a big void had to be filled by someone capable of the job. Simeone clearly thought Mandzukic is someone who will make sure the Madrid club sustain last season’s efforts into the new one.