Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic has revealed he rejected a move to Premier League to join the Spanish champions.
Mario Mandzukic left Bayern Munich to join Atletico Madrid in the summer for a transfer fee of £17.5 million. The Croatia International has joined the Liga champions for the next four years as Bayern Munich acquired the services of Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund for free.
The Champions League winner was linked with a big-money move to Premier League clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea before joining Atletico Madrid. Mandzukic has revealed that he turned down a chance to move to the Premier League in favour of joining Diego Simeone’s side.
“I had better offers than from Atletico,” he told Sportske novosti.
“There were calls from the UK that interested me, but I believe that their style of football is simply not my way. There were also interest from Italy and some concrete offers from Russia.
“I’m very pleased with everything. I couldn’t choose a better path after leaving Bayern Munich. The fans here accepted me immediately.
“Atletico was the best possible decision for me at this stage of my career.”
Mandzukic admitted that the opportunity to work with Simeone tempted him to join the club.
“Simeone was the key to me coming to Atletico,” he said.
“His style and passion, with so much success, they are the things that inspire me. I love guys like him, he’s a real fighter, direct and transparent who is not fake and always says what he really thinks.”
Mandzukic spent 2 seasons with Bayern Munich winning the treble in his very first season for the club. In his second season, Mandzukic helped Bayern Munich win the league in record time. He finished both the seasons as Bayern Munich’s top scorer.
Mandzukic has netted 5 goals in 11 appearance since joining the Spanish outfit in the summer. Mandzukic’s first goal for Atletico was against Real Madrid and helped his club win the Spanish Supercup. Atletico Madrid are currently placed 5th in La Liga, 2 points behind league leaders Barcelona and just a point behind local rivals Real Madrid who are 3rd in the league.
After failing to sign Mandzukic, Arsenal and Chelsea went on to sign Welbeck and Diego Costa respectively. Welbeck has scored 5 goals in 7 appearances for Arsenal and Diego Costa is the joint top-scorer in the Premier League with 9 league goals to his name.