Manchester United’s season may have ended with a deeply disappointing 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in last weekend’s FA Cup final, but the club is clearly focused on preparing for Jose Mourinho’s third season in charge, if the remarkable levels of rumours and reports published in these last few days are anything to go by. There’s been talk of Maroaune Fellaini leaving for AC Milan, a move back to Italy for Matteo Darmian and confirmation that talks with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred are at an advanced stage.
Just to add to that ever-increasing pile, the Daily Mail are reporting that Juventus are trying to sweeten the possibility of their pursuit of Darmian by including a player of their own. United’s interest in Alex Sandro has been far from a secret, but recent news of the Bianconeri trying to tie the Brazilian down to a new deal appear to have landed a blow to Jose Mourinho’s ambitions. Still, with the reigning Serie A champions in the market for Darmian, the Old Lady have apparently offered Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic. The report carries quotes from the club’s chief executive Guiseppe Moratta, who stated the following to Sky Italia when asked about the Croatian’s future:
“Mandzukic? When a player asks to go away we always try to satisfy him, just as the stimuli may have disappeared. We do not have to take any position at the moment, so Mandzukic is still Juventus.”
It’s not outside the realms of possibility to suggest that Juve are trying to kill two birds with one stone, by bringing in a player they require whilst jettisoning one who no longer wishes to stay. It’s far from clear if United would go for such a deal, however; Mandzukic has a healthy record of scoring for Bayern Munich, Altetico Madrid and Juventus in the last five seasons, and notched 10 goals in 38 games last term, but at 32-years of age, he certainly wouldn’t provide much in the way of re-sale value. Still, with United struggling for goals again last season, perhaps Mourinho’s interest in the Croatian will be piqued by Juve’s offer.