FC Barcelona have set their sights on Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic, who could be considered in a swap deal between the two clubs this summer.
According to Tuttosport (via Transfermarketweb), FC Barcelona are interested in the services of Mario Mandzukic. The Juventus forward has emerged as a shock target for the Spanish champions as they look to add more depth to their number nine slot.
Barcelona are seemingly keen on bringing back Neymar to Catalonia this summer. But in order to fund a move for the Brazilian, they will have to get rid of some of their existing stars, with Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele and Juan Miranda among candidates who could be included in the swap deal.
Neymar’s return will significantly improve the overall quality of the Barca attack. It will also see the revival of the revered front trio of “MSN”. Only this time, they will have the services of Antoine Griezmann as well.
That being said, the Blaugrana’s latest interest in Mandzukic suggest that they are also keen on securing a potential alternative for Suarez. The Uruguayan is currently the only out and out striker Barcelona have at the moment and as he nears the final phase of his career, he has endured a lot of fitness issues over the past 12 months. He is currently sidelined with a calf injury and may not feature against Real Betis this weekend.
Although Mandzukic is 33 himself, he is an absolute athlete and his tenacity and willingness to press the defenders could add another dimension to the Barcelona attack. The Croatian international is also quite experienced at the highest level of football, which should help him settle in quickly in the tactical nature of Spanish football.
As for Juventus, offloading Mandzukic in lieu of signing either Rakitic, Miranda or Dembele could be a masterstroke, though they will definitely have to offer additional fees, especially when it comes to signing Dembele or Rakitic.
The veteran striker is surplus to the club’s requirements as they already have Cristiano Ronaldo while Gonzalo Higuain has returned from his loan spell at Chelsea and AC Milan. But most importantly, the release of Manduzkic will help the Old Lady restore some of their wage structure that was impacted by the arrival of Matthijs de Ligt earlier this summer.
As for Mandzukic himself, a move to Barcelona is unlikely to help him revive his career. However, he could be a part of an exciting offensive lineup that could further be bolstered by the potential arrival of Neymar from PSG. Either way, he is a definite upgrade over last season’s flop Kevin-Prince Boateng.