Mario Mandzukic reportedly rejected the chance to join Manchester United after being convinced by Massimiliano Allegri to stay put at Juventus.
According to a report by Italian outlet Calciomercato, Manchester United were turned down by Mario Mandzukic, despite offering him a lucrative deal. The Croat decided to remain at Juventus after manager Massimiliano Allegri gave him assurances of retaining a key role in the first-team setup following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.
If there were two areas of his squad that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was desperate to bolster this summer, they were attack and central defence. But, in the end, the Red Devils were unable to add to their options in either department, leaving the manager frustrated over the course of the transfer window.
One of Mourinho’s priority targets to reinforce attack was Mario Mandzukic. Manchester United were pursuing the Croat as an option to not just be a possible backup to Romelu Lukaku, but also fill in out wide, where he has proven himself to be a solid contributor for Juventus over the last couple of seasons or so.
Upon the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo last month though, it was believed that Mandzukic would be the one to make way for the Portuguese superstar. However, Gonzalo Higuain was instead the expendable player for Massimiliano Allegri, who chose to keep hold of the Croatian striker.
But, the Juventus boss had it all to do for the better part of a month, when Manchester United were in hot pursuit of Mandzukic. The Red Devils had even tabled a €5 million-a-year deal to the World Cup finalist, a significant rise on his current €3.5 million annual salary.
On the pitch, the 32-year-old could have been a viable short-term solution, offering Mourinho a number of options in terms of his own utilization as well as formation changes. His ability to deliver on the big stage as well as his work-rate are further traits that are exactly what the Manchester United boss needs from his players.
Mandzukic could have thus, potentially been an ideal foil to the likes of Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku. But, it wasn’t to be for Manchester United, as Allegri assured Mandzukic that he would retain a key role for the Bianconeri this season, despite Ronaldo’s addition to the squad.
That indeed seems to be the case thus far, with Mandzukic featuring in both the Serie A games that Juventus have played this season. The Croat played a bigger role in the second game, played this week, scoring one of the goals that helped the champions continue their perfect start to the campaign.
As far as Manchester United are concerned, they seem to be bereft of exactly the kind of profile that Mandzukic could have offered, especially when hold up play can help break down defences. Mourinho though, will have to make do with the current squad, at least till the January transfer window.