Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly chasing one of the top three centre-forwards in the world and will only be able to land him because Pep Guardiola knows nothing about strikers.
This is according to former Croatia manager Igor Stimac, who told TalkSport that he believes Mario Mandzukic has very few rivals in the striker position. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reportedly flown out to Brazil not only as a television pundit, but to secure a deal for one of three centre-forwards and the Bayern Munich forward is top of the list. Meanwhile, Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in 28-year-old former Wolfsburg striker.
Whether it be Emirates Stadium or Stamford Bridge, Stimac believes whichever team gets him will be landing a supreme forward who can make contributions up front and at the back: "Mandzukic is definitely in the top three strikers in the world at the moment. Defensively and offensively he is an amazing player.
“It’s not surprising Pep Guardiola didn’t like Mario Mandzukic, he doesn’t know a lot about centre forwards.”
One thing that appears certain is that the Croat will be leaving the Allianz Arena this summer after the World Cup after revealing he had made known to the Bayern Munich board his desire to leave. Mandzukic insisted he had a successful time with the Bavarian club, but was a little more diplomatic than Stimac when citing a clash of styles with Guardiola as to why he felt he had to leave.
Mandzukic's recent record - 48 goals in two seasons at Bayern - shows he is a quality operator, but to suggest he is one of the three best centre-forwards in the world is something of an outlandish claim. Even if you classify it by claiming it is for traditional type centre-forwards, so as to eliminate Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo from the debate, there are still more than three centre-forwards better than him.
Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski (his replacement at Bayern) and Diego Costa, to name but a few, could all arguably claim to be superior centre-forwards than him, though there is always debate and often little agreement with these things. Both Arsenal and Chelsea need to refresh their striker ranks, but in Diego Costa and Olivier Giroud respectively they already have forwards to play the role of Mandzukic.