Manchester United are preparing to make another offer to Juventus for Mario Mandzukic when the transfer window re-opens with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to bolster his attacking options.
According to The Athletic, United came ‘very close’ to signing the 34-year-old Mandzukic in the summer but ultimately ran out of time to complete the deal with the English transfer window closing three weeks earlier than other major leagues in Europe.
Since the 4-0 win over Chelsea in August, United have only scored six goals in their last seven games in all competitions and injuries to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have left Solskjaer short of strikers.
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Consequently, the United boss is keen to add a forward to his ranks and he sees Mandzukic as an excellent short-term option due to his track record at other major clubs and his vast experience which could assist young players such as Mason Greenwood.
Mandzukic, who was left out of Juventus’ Champions League squad and is yet to play for the club this season, had been offered a £7m per year deal to join Qatar-based side Al-Rayyan, however, negotiations have now stopped.
Juventus had demanded an £11m fee for Mandzukic in the summer but the Athletic reports that they could be willing to allow the Croatian to leave for nothing in January as he enters the final 18-months of his contract.
Mandzukic has played in the three of the five big leagues in Europe, representing Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, Atletico Madrid in La Liga and Juventus in Serie A and is open to a move to the Premier League next.
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United’s struggles in front of goal are emphasised by the fact that they have scored 19 goals fewer than the Premier League’s leading goalscorers Manchester City so far this season.
Solskjaer admitted on Friday that signing a striker is his next transfer priority, saying: ‘We let Alexis [Sanchez] and Romelu [Lukaku] go, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that it’s a forward that next time we’re going to recruit – we’re looking for some creativity and goals.’