Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic has taken a break from preparing for the World Cup with Croatia to confirm that he has told the club that he intends to leave.
The Daily Express have reported today that striker Mario Mandzukic has confirmed that he intends to leave Bayern Munich this summer, news which will prick the ears of Premier League sides such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Mandzukic has enjoyed a hugely successful two years at the Allianz Arena since arriving from Bundesliga rivals Vfl Wolfsburg in 2012, winning the treble under Jupp Heynckes in 2013 and the double under Pep Guardiola in 2014.
It is a failure to see eye-to-eye with Guardiola that has fostered Mandzukic’s desire to leave the German capital, however, with the Croatian forward quoted as saying:
“I’ve had a fantastic time at Bayern. It’s a great club and I never thought I’d want to leave, and especially not at this point in time.
“But, let’s be honest, I cannot play to my strengths under Guardiola’s style – no matter how hard I try.
“I realised that after the 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final first leg and, that being the case, it’s best for all parties that we go our separate ways.
“Guardiola is an outstanding coach and I wish him and everyone else at the club all the best in the future.”
A powerful striker known for his strength in the air, Mandzukic was often used as an alternative plan to Guardiola’s preferred passing style, rather than a vital cog in the Bayern machine.
Mandzukic’s decision to leave will alert a number of clubs to his availability, but the Premier League offers the most likely destination for a player whose style suits the English game.
Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have all been linked with the Croatian this summer, but Arsene Wenger’s side appear to be the ones most in need of a centre forward with Chelsea close to sealing a deal for Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa. Mandzukic would cost in excess of £20 million, but the opportunity to add a world class hitman to his armoury may prove too hard to resist for Wenger as he looks to build on the club’s recent FA Cup success.