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Mandzukic could leave Juventus. Next stop, Man United?

Mario Mandzukic of Juventus FC celebrates after scoring a

ALLIANZ STADIUM, TURIN, ITALY - 2019/05/19: Mario Mandzukic of Juventus FC celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A football match between Juventus FC and Atalanta BC. The match ended in a 1-1 tie. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

LightRocket via Getty Images

Does this pave the way for Mario Mandzukic to move to Manchester United?

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The Croatian forward, 33, is out of favor at Juventus and was linked with a move to the Red Devils in the summer but a move didn’t materialize. He hasn’t played at all for Juve so far this season.

Speaking to our partners Sky in Italy, Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici revealed that Mandzukic could train with a potential new team before leaving the Serie A giants in January.

“We are talking to Mandzukic to find the best possible solution. We remain open to any scenario, so staying here or going elsewhere. We are discussing it to find the best solution for both parties.”

Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri has previously stated that Mandzukic is not training per an agreement with the hierarchy of the club. Mandzukic has a contract with Juve until the summer of 2021 but if he leaves in January, Juve are unlikely to ask for a substantial transfer fee, if any, for his services.

Why would United sign the veteran striker?

The former Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid forward would likely be used for the Europa League and as back-up to Marcus Rashford and be a short-term fix up top.

With injuries hitting United hard early in the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s options have been limited with Rashford forced to play plenty of minutes as Anthony Martial was out injured.

After selling Romelu Lukaku and loaning Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan this summer, United didn’t bring in a replacement forward and Mandzukic would be a quick fix until the end of the season when they can reassess the situation and see which strikers are available.

United’s new philosophy is to sign young, hungry players and Mandzukic doesn’t fit the bill.

But he does bring experience and as Rashford continues to develop his finishing skills, the Croatian could be handy in the second half of the season when the top four battle and Europa League knockout rounds heat up. Mandzukic scored over 20 goals in three-straight seasons for Bayern Munich and then Atletico Madrid from 2012-15 and since he joined Juve in 2015 he’s hit double figures every single season, despite playing mostly in a wide role.

As a short-term solution this move makes sense. Nothing more. Nothing less.

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