Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic has emerged as a top summer target for Manchester United in the transfer window, as Louis van Gaal is chasing a new forward to lead the Red Devils attack next season.
According to The Sun, Atleti are willing to offload the Croatia international in the summer, but are likely to want to recoup the £18.5m they paid only last summer for his signature from Bayern Munich.
The 29-year-old scored 20 goals in 37 appearances in his debut campaign at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, however there is speculation that the forward has not seen eye to eye with boss Diego Simeone – and Louis van Gaal wants to capitalise on the alleged fallout.
Goals were a significant problem for Manchester United in the 2014-15 campaign; as Radamel Falcao (4), Robin van Persie (10) and Wayne Rooney (12), along with winger Angel Di Maria (3), all fell well short of their expected tallies.
Robin van Persie has been heavily linked with an exit from Old Trafford in the summer following his disappointing campaign under his former Netherlands manager. Just a few days ago, the Dutch striker suggested that he could be interested in joining former Manchester United team-mate Patrice Evra at Serie A champions Juventus [Sky Sports].
Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, perhaps due to his age as well as his passing ability, was deployed as a central and an attacking midfielder, as well as a left winger and a centre-forward throughout the season. His varying positions on the field suggest that the United captain could no longer be the club’s goalscoring talisman and may drop deeper as his 30th birthday approaches.
What’s more, Javier Hernandez, who spent the season on loan at Real Madrid, isn’t expected to stay with the Red Devils [Daily Mail], which could leave just Rooney and teenager James Wilson as Louis van Gaal’s only frontmen – therefore the Dutchman’s attack needs addressing in the transfer window.
Along with Mario Madzukic, Louis van Gaal is also rumoured to be chasing Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain, and the Argentine’s transfer could be confirmed within the next few days [Daily Star].