Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has opened the door for Mario Mandzukic to move to Manchester United by admitting that the striker ‘annoys him easily’.
The Croatian scored 20 goals in 43 games for Atletico last season after joining from Bayern Munich, but is expected to leave this summer after falling out with Simeone.
United have been strongly linked with the 29-year-old as Louis van Gaal seeks to shake up his strike force, and will be boosted by Simeone’s suggestion that he has played his last game for the former La Liga champions.
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The Argentine leaving Mandzukic out of his squad for their season finale at Granada and thanking him for his efforts could be an indication that a transfer to Old Trafford is edging closer.
The Daily Star quotes Simeone as telling Spanish newspaper AS: “He (Mandzukic) annoys me easily, that’s the reality.
“He is a great player and a decent lad. He himself is down about not maintaining the form he displayed up until February. We sat down together and aimed to improve on his record of 28 goals at Bayern. This wasn’t possible and it upset him.
“For the last game he sent me a message saying he wanted to travel with the lads. I know he gave his all and thanks to him we secured third place in La Liga.”
Atletico have apparently lined up Juventus’s former United forward Carlos Tevez as a potential replacement for Mandzukic.