According to Sport Bild, Mario Mandzukic is open to a move from Juventus to Dortmund in the winter if certain conditions are met.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke admitted during a speech at the club’s member’s assembly on Sunday that the front office made a mistake by not adding another striker to their squad. The Black and Yellows may address the error in judgement in the winter transfer window by signing Mario Mandzukic, who has been a regular topic of discussion in the Dortmund front office for several seasons now.
The 33-year-old, who scored against the Black and Yellows in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final, has similar attributes to Robert Lewandowski in terms of his hold-up play, physicality and aerial threat, which could be a useful contrast to small-ball striker Paco Alcácer.
Especially Matthias Sammer, who worked with the Croat during his time at Bayern Munich is a fan of the centre-forward.
Playing time a priority
Mandzukic fled Bayern Munich in 2014 due to the influx of Lewandowski, transferring to Atletico Madrid for one season before moving to Serie A outfit Juventus.
The 1,90m tall striker is yet to feature in the 2019/20 season as Maurizio Sarri prefers Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain. Mandzukic was only thrice included in the matchday squad in 13 league and has been excluded from Juventus’ Champions League squad altogether.
According to Sport Bild, the forward has refused lucrative deals from other European clubs because he wanted to prove himself at Juventus but is now ready to accept drawbacks on his voluminous salary in his next move. However, Mandzukic does not want to play the second fiddle wherever he goes next.
Deal also depends on Favre’s future
It’s hard to imagine that Dortmund would give Mandzukic a guarantee to be the first-choice striker but thus far, Alcácer has missed more than half of the possible minutes due to injuries. Against Barcelona, the 26-year-old is missing due to illness.
Whether a transfer from North Italy to West Germany is on the cards in the winter could be more down to the coach. In a recent interview with Bild, Favre essentially said that Mandzukic is too expensive and too old: “Three or four years ago, there wouldn’t have been any questions [about Mandzukic]. He is a very good player. Now he is 33 years old, which you must include in your assessment considering the fees that are at play nowadays.”
Though Favre is in the hot seat since the team has severely underperformed this season and his job hinges on the performances in the next two games against Barcelona and Hertha Berlin according to Watzke.