A report from the Daily Star has claimed that Liverpool are chasing Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic.
The 29-year-old moved from Bayern Munich last summer, and has been an important member of Diego Simeone’s side this year as they tried to defend their La Liga title. Along with Antione Griezmann, he has formed a formidable partnership that put up a decent fight to retain their championship. Ultimately however, Real Madrid and eventual winners Barcelona were much too strong, leaving Atletico forced to settle for third place in the table.
Having played more games, it is no surprise that the Frenchman has scored more goals than Mandzukic. His total of 22 goals is ten clear of the Croatian. However, Mandzukic has contributed five assists compared to Griezmann’s one, suggesting that he is a more complete forward.
Nevertheless, the Star report that his manager is seeking a replacement for him – with Gonzalo Higuain being his number one target – suggesting that his future may now lie elsewhere.
As difficult as it is to see now, yesterday’s defeat may actually be a benefit when we come to line up for our opening game of next season. The result hammered home the areas in which we need to strengthen most, and finding a goalscorer is certainly a priority.
Mandzukic would fit the bill. But, it may be difficult to persuade a forward that will be playing in the Champions League next year to drop down into the Europa League instead, especially as he will not have many more opportunities to play in Europe’s premier competition given his age.