Widely linked with the Red Devils in recent months, the Croatian striker is now closing in on a move to the Middle East
Mario Mandzukic’s response to interest from a Qatari club is expected by Sunday, with his time at Juventus set to come to an end.
Widely linked with Manchester United over the summer and in the lead-up to January, Goal understands Mandzukic is now closing in on a move to the Middle East. He joined Juve in 2015 and has scored 44 goals in 164 appearances for the Bianconeri, but he has been sidelined by Maurizio Sarri and has not made a single appearance this term.
Mandzukic came close to a move to Qatar in September, when his exclusion from Juve’s Champions League squad made it clear that he needed a fresh start away from Turin.
In the end, however, he decided to stay at the Allianz Stadium amid interest from other European clubs. In the interim he has remained on the margins, so much so that he is no longer included in the matchday squad and he has not attended the team’s Christmas party.
That is a clear sign of how relations between him and the club, despite a contract renewal signed only a few months ago, have definitively deteriorated. Now, Mandzukic is ready to start a new adventure.
The Croatian striker is expected to make a final decision on his future in the next 48 hours. Juve hope that he will finally accept a transfer, not least because interest from Manchester United and AC Milan seems to have waned lately.
Mandzukic won four Serie A titles with Juve, as well as three Copa Italia finals. He was also on the losing side in the 2017 Champions League final, scoring Juve’s only goal of the game in a 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid.
Having previously played for VfL Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, Mandzukic represents a prestige signing for the Qatar Stars League. Other players who have moved to Qatar in recent years include Marc Muniesa, Mohamed Diame and Xavi.
Should he agree to a move, Mandzukic would immediately become one of the biggest names in Qatari football. The clock may be ticking on his time in Turin, but Mandzukic could be on the verge of a new beginning in the Middle East.