Mario Mandzukic

Mario Mandzukic

The recent announcement that Robert Lewandowski will join Bayern Munich at the end of the season has reportedly put FCB striker Mario Mandzukic’s noise out of joint, and understandably so; the Poland international is one of the most coveted strikers in Europe, and two years his junior.

That doesn’t take away from the 27 year-old’s quality however – he’s netted 37 times in 69 appearances since moving to the Allianz Arena in summer 2012, providing a vital contribution to the six pieces of silverware Bayern have claimed in the last eighteen months, including the Bundesliga and Champions League titles.

The Croatian international recorded similar hauls of 20 goals in 56 league appearances at Wolfsburg and 63 goals in 125 outings for Dynamo Zagreb.

The 6 foot 2 front man doesn’t have the biggest physical profile in the final third, but possessing considerable flair on the ball from his days as a wide-man, Mandzukic offers a lot to build-up play and often drops into midfield, which certainly fits into Chelsea’s current philosophy.

Bayern have continually rebuffed notions that they’ll sell the two-time Croatian Footballer of the Year upon Lewandowski’s arrival, but recent reports from the Bundesliga have suggested a fall-out with Pep Guardiola over an apparent lack of effort on the training pitch. Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer has also stated Mandzukic’s future with FCB looks bleak past the current campaign.

What valuation the German champions put on their striker remains to be seen. But Chelsea won’t be his only suitors – Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City have all been heavily linked over the last few months.

 


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