Manchester United are reportedly also in talks with Juventus over the prospective transfer of Croatian international Mario Mandzukic.

Various journalists have come forward with the news that Paulo Dybala is not the only player that could be heading to Manchester United from Juventus. The Red Devils have also been in talks with the Serie A giants for Croatian international Mario Mandzukic as a separate deal, something also reported by The Sun.

The main deal is a swap offer for Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala. While the negotiations over personal terms continue, Manchester United reportedly also opened talks over Mandzukic during the negotiation of the aforementioned swap deal.

Mario Mandzukic made a name for himself at Bayern Munich and has solidified his stature as a quality forward at Juventus since joining in 2015. 44 goals and 24 assists in 162 games for Juventus in all competitions show a contribution rate of more than 1 goal or assist every other game, which isn’t as prolific but is mainly down to being played in wide positions and as more of a support striker than an out-and-out forward.

Mandzukic has been consistently racking up appearances and managed to keep his spot despite the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2018-19 campaign, with Paulo Dybala having to make way. What outlines his overall ability is his work-rate and willingness to work for the team. Manchester United’s interest is surprising but it makes sense.

Mandzukic may be joining Dybala on the journey to Manchester United. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images0

Mandzukic may be joining Dybala on the journey to Manchester United. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images0

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be left with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as the striking options as Lukaku leaves for Juventus. Martial is likely to be played out wide as well and Greenwood will unlikely be a regular or in contention to start every game, despite his pre-season form.

Dybala is likely to take up the number 10 role in Solskjaer’s 4-2-3-1 setup rather than being put upfront. This makes the signing of a quality forward a necessity. Mandzukic fits the bill in every sense.

First of all, the Croat is 33 and will only be a short-term option, which is what Solskjaer would want as he bloods Greenwood in for a season or two before the English youngster becomes a household name in the first-team setup at Manchester United.

To add to it, Mandzukic has a similar level of heading prowess that Lukaku had, but with a better technical aspect to his game. The Croat’s work-rate and ability to bring teammates into play is also an asset. But, what will prove to be the biggest asset is his versatility.

Mandzukic has played out wide at Juventus and his ability to play out wide will do wonders to Solskjaer’s plan of having interchangeable forwards in the 4-2-3-1 setup. The front four should be flexible enough to swap positions at will, which in turn, will also confuse man markers.

The fees mooted is reportedly under and around €15 million, which will be a bargain if United are able to get even one quality season out of Mandzukic.

The Juventus star is a bit injury prone but will be far from a gamble at that price. A deal Manchester United should pursue and be able to complete, with the competition for places likely to leave Mandzukic lower down the pecking order after the arrival of Lukaku in Turin.

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