Who doesn’t love transfer rumours from Italy’s plethora of websites dedicated to the subject? Today we have an update regarding Spurs and West Ham’s plans, with CalcioMercato claiming both Premier League clubs interested in Mario Mandzukic of Juventus.
— calciomercato.com (@cmdotcom) November 9, 2016
It’s been revealed that, with his game time limited at Juve, Mandzukic’s future is up in the air as we approach the mid-season transfer window. Indeed, CalcioMercato go as far as to claim the coming month or so will reveal all in terms of the Croatian’s situation, with a decision from the player likely made before Serie A takes its winter break.
The outlet go on to reveal that interest is high, with West Ham and Spurs mooted as suitors while Paris Saint-Germain are also keen. Further afield, the Chinese Super League is thrown into the mix.
Well, with Gonzalo Higuain having arrived in a mega-money summer transfer, the already cluttered striking ranks in Turin have been bolstered further, pushing Mandzukic down the pecking order.
The 30-year-old is behind the costly Argentine and another La Albiceleste international in the shape of Paulo Dybala in manager Massimiliano Allegri’s plans, which is reflected by his relative lack of game time. Mandzukic has been playing fairly regularly of late, though, with Dybala out of action, but it’s fully expected that he will be pushed out over the coming weeks.
Maybe neither club specifically need Mandzukic, but it’s fairly clear that they are both struggling for goals. Spurs are the lowest scorers in the ‘title race’ with 15 to their name – table-topping Liverpool have double that tally – while West Ham have netted just eleven times in the Premier League – the joint third-lowest return in the division.
While Tottenham’s potency is likely to increase with Harry Kane once again fit, the Hammers are lumbered with the ineffective Simone Zaza – on loan from Juventus – and limited options in reserve.
There’s already talk that the Irons may opt to axe the Italy international this winter rather than trigger the clause they have in place to sign him. However, this could annoy Juve, who are clearly angling to get rid of the player. Conversely, it could be a case of one in, one out in Turin.
The Croatian, at 30, has plenty of experience, winning titles in his homeland (six) with Dinamo Zagreb, in Germany (two) as part of Bayern Munich’s set-up and in Italy with Juventus. He’s also represented Atletico Madrid, winning the Supercopa de Espana, and helped Bayern to Champions League glory in 2012/13.
In short, he’s a winner, although he hasn’t always been a key cog in the aforementioned teams’ starting XIs. He is, however, considered to be one of Croatia’s finest players in recent memory, and has been capped 72 times.
His most prolific spell in terms of league goals came at Bayern during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons, in which time he notched 33.