Manchester United reportedly want to bring in Mario Mandzukic from Juventus, as part of a deal that would see Matteo Darmian move the other way.
Manchester United are planning to demand Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic as part of a deal that would see Serie A champions Juventus sign Matteo Darmian, according to reputed Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla.
Italian full-back Darmian, who joined Manchester United in 2015 from Torino, is understood to be on his way out of the club this summer, after having fallen down the pecking order over the past couple of seasons under manager Jose Mourinho. The 28-year old made just 17 appearances in the 2017/18 campaign for the Red Devils, contributing with 2 assists.
And with the recent arrival of promising young full-back Diogo Dalot from FC Porto in a £17.4 million deal, Darmian’s chances of getting any meaningful first-team action will have taken a further hit.
Juventus have been interested in signing the Italian international for quite some time now and have stepped up their pursuit of the full-back, after long-time servant Stephan Lichtsteiner left the club to join Premier League side Arsenal, following the expiry of his contract.
And the Bianconeri believe Darmian, a 36-time capped Italy international, will be a solid addition to the ranks. Moreover, the 28-year old will be available on a cut-price deal after having entered the final year of his contract with Manchester United earlier this month.
However, United are reportedly keen on signing Mandzukic as part of the deal, that would see Darmian join Juventus. Jose Mourinho is understood to be an admirer of the Croatian international, who joined Juve in the summer of 2015, from Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid. Till date, he has gone on to make 129 appearances for the Italian champions, scoring 34 goals and assisting 18 more.
The 32-year old scored 10 goals and set up four more in 43 appearances across all competitions in the 2017/18 season, helping the Old Lady to clinch their seventh successive Serie A title, and his third.
Manchester United are on the hunt for another forward this summer who could act as a backup for first-choice Romelu Lukaku and had been eyeing a move for West Ham United’s Marko Arnautovic. With the Hammers demanding an excessive fee of £60 million for his services, Mandzukic would represent a much more economical alternative for the Red Devils.
The 32-year old, who is currently on international duty with Crotia in the FIFA World Cup 2018, has the experience of playing for the big clubs, having represented Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich during his career. He has also won numerous titles and honours, including the UEFA Champions League with Bayern in 2012/13.
Mandzukic might not be the most attractive signing for United, but would prove to be a solid addition to the ranks, with his experience and winning mentality, coupled with his versatility of being able to slot in anywhere in the frontline.