Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic has revealed his decision to leave the German club in the summer, putting Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC and Manchester United on high alert.
The 28-year-old joined the Bavarian club from Wolfsburg in 2012 and became an important part of the treble winning squad under Jupp Heynckes. But since the arrival of Pep Guardiola at the helm of the club, his future at Bayern has come under a lot of speculations.
Mandzukic started in 21 league games last season as the former Barcelona manager used Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze in a false nine role at times. Now with the arrival of Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund, Mandzukic could be have been restricted to a role on the bench next season. But the Croatian international, who is preparing to represent his nation at the World Cup, has now publicly stated his desire to leave Bayern Munich in the summer, as he looks to play for a team more suited to his style of play.
“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.” – The Bayern Munich striker said in a statement.
The forward stopped short of providing any information regarding his future destination as he concentrates on the World Cup.
“When there is concrete news, everyone will be told but I am now concentrating on the World Cup” – He added.
The above statement has put the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United on alert and reports suggest that the three English clubs are likely to make a move for the Bayern Munich striker in the transfer window.
Arsenal are expected to spend heavily in the summer and a new striker is at the top of their priority list. The Gunners have already been linked with a host of names, and Mandzukic’s latest statement will aid their efforts to strengthen their strike force in this window. Similarly Chelsea are also keen to sign the Bayern Munich forward, despite the imminent arrival of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid. The Blues are desperate to improve their firepower and could look to offload Demba Ba or Fernando Torres if they are able to sign Mandzukic.
Manchester United on the other hand already have a host of forwards in their squad, but reports suggest that they are also monitoring Mandzukic’s situation at Bayern Munich and are considering a move for him as possible replacement for Javier Hernandez, who could leave Old Trafford in the summer.