Why Manchester United are right to drop interest in Mario Mandzukic
According to a recent report by The Athletic (h/t The Sun), Manchester United have dropped their pursuit of Juventus star Mario Mandzukic.
The 33-year-old was a long-time target for the Red Devils but now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co appear to have dropped interest in the attacker. The Sun had earlier reported that the Serie A giants were demanding a fee in the region of £10m to part ways with Mandzukic but United would be better off without him.
The Manchester giants have not enjoyed the best of starts to the ongoing Premier League campaign. Solskjaer is under severe pressure to turn things around for the Red Devils, who are currently placed 9th in the standings.
Far from being title challengers, United are also struggling to nail down a Champions League berth this term. And their problems have only been compounded with the recent emergence of clubs like Sheffield United, Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The fact that Solskjaer’s men have scored merely 19 goals in 13 league games so far does signify that they need attacking reinforcements.
Despite signing Daniel James in the summer – and having players like Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial at hand – United’s attack has underwhelmed on most occasions. Even against the weakest of defences, the fallen giants of English football have struggled to breakthrough.
Alexis Sanchez’s departure on loan and Romelu Lukaku’s transfer to Inter Milan further weakened their attack, which has lacked firepower for quite some time now. Although it is clear that signing attacking reinforcements should be a priority for Solskjaer in the winter window, United would be wise to steer clear of Mandzukic.
At 33, he hardly seems like a viable long-term option. In addition, the pace and challenges of the Premier League are far more demanding than that of the Serie A.
At present, the Red Devils need someone who can start delivering results from the get-go. And considering Mandzukic’s age, he does not seem like the right choice.
The fact that he has never played in the Premier League makes him a risky option to pursue. And his tally of 14 goals in 57 matches – including the ongoing season and the previous one – does not really sound impressive. Thus, United are right to drop their interest in the forward.