Arsenal will need to pay £20 million to secure the services of Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic this summer. That fee is a little higher than the Gunners will hoping to fork out, but Arsene Wenger has the funds available to spend on a new forward and prefers the Croatia international to AC Milan star Mario Balotelli.
A move for Balotelli has been shelved by Wenger, allowing the Gunners boss to focus on bringing Mandzukic to the Emirates Stadium, according to the Daily Star. The London Evening Standard add that Arsenal are currently in pole position to sign the 28-year-old, who wants to quit the Allianz Arena.
Arsenal face stiff competition for Mandzukic
Arsenal aren’t the only top European club interested in signing Mandzukic from Bayern Munich this summer. The striker, who has scored 48 goals in 88 appearances for the reigning Bundesliga champions, has also been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan in recent weeks.
Chelsea, in particular, are believed to be near the front of the queue with Mourinho unhappy with the current batch of strikers at his disposal.
Mandzukic keen to leave Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich have acquired the services of Poland international Robert Lewandowski, leaving Mandzukic out in the cold at the Allianz Arena. The Croatian recently admitted that he doesn’t feature in Pep Guardiola’s plans for the future and a summer transfer now looks inevitable.
Arsenal are more than happy to at least match Mandzukic’s current £60,000-a-week wage packet, although the striker may attempt to increase his salary with several clubs determined to secure his signature.
Mandzukic: Scout report
Would Mandzukic be first choice at Arsenal?
It seems unlikely that Wenger will shift his formation in order to accommodate both Mandzukic and Olivier Giroud into his starting line-up. This indicates that France international Giroud could be reduced to playing the role of back-up striker if the former arrives at the Emirates Stadium this summer.
However, with the number of matches Arsenal will play next season, it’s crucial that Wenger brings in another forward to ease the pressure on Giroud, who grew increasingly tired as the 2013/14 campaign wore on due to a lack of competition in the attacking department.