Bayern Munich Sporting Director Matthias Sammer has revealed that there is a ‘verbal agreement’ between the club and Atletico Madrid over the sale of striker Mario Mandzukic. The Croatian forward will cost around £18.5m and replace the void left by outgoing strikers Diego Costa and David Villa.
Mandzukic, 28, made his desire to leave Bayern public earlier in the summer after the club announced they had signed Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski. Atleti have fought off competition from various teams, including reported interest from Manchester United and Arsenal, for the striker.
He enjoyed two productive seasons at the Allianz Arena, winning the Champions League in 2013 and scoring 48 times. However, Mandzukic had seen himself fall out of favour towards the end of the season with Pep Guardiola favouring Thomas Muller in his position, and the arrival of Lewandowski would only have reduced his playing time further.
“There is a verbal agreement between Bayern, Atletico Madrid and Mario Mandzukic,” said Sammer, confirming the news. “We wish to thank Mario for his performances at Bayern and wish him all the best in the future.”
Mandzukic will replace striker Diego Costa after Chelsea bought the Spanish striker earlier in the summer. It was due to his goals that Atletico were able to hold off Barcelona and win the title last year. David Villa has also departed for New York City, and Atletico have done some neat business to plug the gap left by those two.
Atletico were also rumoured to be chasing Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City who according to allpro are Premier League favourites and the Spaniard is reported to be considering a move away from the Etihad. However, after paying a large fee for Mandzukic, it is unlikely Atletico will be able to lure the striker away from City on a permanent deal.
The club are also in the process of finalising a deal for Benfica goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who was due to complete a €20m move on Monday. If the transfer falls through, Atletico could make another bid for the impressive Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas, who is available for €10m from Levante.
Bayern meanwhile managed to capture highly-rated youngster Juan Bernat from Valencia earlier this week for around €10m.