360 Reactions: Mandzukic rumour
Reaction time. The latest rumour comes up that Mandzukic, who was set to move to Arsenal this summer, might move to Chelsea, if they can come up with a good price tag.
Mario Mandzukic is primed for a summer move to Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea will have to dig deep after it emerged he will cost them around £20million.
The Bayern Munich striker’s Croatian agent visited London recently, and despite links with Arsenal, Sportsmail understands it was representatives of Chelsea who met him for transfer talks.
There have been suggestions the 27-year old is surplus to requirements at the Allianz Arena and will be made available at a knockdown price this summer.
But Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge made it clear there will be no cut-price deal, after Mandzukic underlined his finishing prowess by topping the Bundesliga scoring charts with 16 goals, despite limited opportunities in the starting line-up.
‘We want him to stay, and I remain fairly confident he will,’ said Rummenigge.
‘But I know that many clubs throughout Europe want him, and that is not surprising. You only have to look at his scoring record to see his quality, so we will see what happens.’
After arriving from Wolfsburg nearly two years ago on a relatively modest salary, Mandzukic is among the lowest earners at Bayern, on around £80,000 a week, and is eager to boost his pay and secure more regular first-team football.
His prospects of achieving either at Bayern appears slim, with club bosses determined not to jeopardise their wage structure and Robert Lewandowski’s imminent arrival from Borussia Dortmund pushing him further down the pecking order.
With Jose Mourinho planning a clear-out of his current strike force at the end of the season, and earmarking Mandzukic and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa as prime candidates to replace them, he is ready to jump at the chance of a fresh start at Stamford Bridge.
Lewandowski’s signing is seen as the last straw for the free-scoring frontrunner, who was already despairing at manager Pep Guardiola’s preference for playing without an out-and-out front man and is now set to cut his ties.
Bayern will not let him go on the cheap, though, and have made it clear that 20million euros will be a starting point for negotiations.
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