Manchester United have opened talks with Juventus over a surprise swoop for veteran forward Mario Mandzukic, according to reports in the Italian media.
Calciomercato claims Jose Mourinho has asked United to bring in the Croatian striker as cover and competition for Romelu Lukaku this summer after deciding Marcus Rashford isn’t quite good enough yet to challenge for a central striking role.
Mandzukic has impressed during Croatia’s run to the World Cup quarter-finals and was again on the mark on Sunday as battling Denmark were narrowly beaten on penalties.
It’s claimed United will use Juventus’ interest in Matteo Darmian to help prise Mandzukic away from Juve this summer.
The Italy defender is set to return to Serie A this summer and claims to have offers on the table from Inter Milan, Juventus or Napoli this summer, according to il Gazzetta dello Sport.
Any deal for Mandzukic would come as another huge blow for Rashford, who has been forced to largely contend with battling for a place on the flank under Mourinho.
Lifting the lid on his frustrations at failing to command a regular shirt at United, Rashford said: “Every player will tell you that it is always frustrating when you don’t start.
“(But) if I know I’m improving to the player I was a year ago or six months ago then that’s good enough for me. It’s not about competing against other people. Ultimately you’re competing against yourself.
“At the level we’re playing at here, being in an England camp or whether it is at the club, you have to really understand that and you can almost take bits from other people’s game to try and bring your own game on.
“(United manager Jose Mourinho) has got 20-25 players in the squad and he has to pick the best team to play each game. He got it right most of the time last season but we need a bit extra to push for the title.”
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