Juventus to bid for Mario Mandzukic? Why context matters and why this one's silly

Alexander Hassenstein

Juventus are reportedly interested in adding Mario Mandzukic to their already stacked squad.

With rumors swirling that Robert Lewandowski will announce his signing with Bayern Munich on January 2nd, it's no wonder that rampant speculation has begun on the place Mario Mandzukic has in this Bayern Munich squad. Will he stay or will he go?

In pops the ever reliable Italian sports media with their take, which has gained steam over the last few days; Juventus will be submitting a bid for Mario Mandzukic in the summer if Bayern Munich do announce the Lewandowski signing. The reportedly proposed transfer free is somewhere in the range €20-€25M. Actual validity of the rumor aside, that's right in the range one would expect teams to pay for Mario Mandzukic so it has passed the initial sniff test. Now comes the "harder" part.

Does this move make any sense for Juventus?

If the answer isn't a big huge "No!" delivered into your skull on the end of Thor's Hammer, you might want to re-examine what Juventus has done over the past 6 months.

Over the summer, they added high quality forwards in Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente in addition to the three quality strikers they already had. Juventus have 5 strikers and a style built on quick passing through the center of the field. While their great strength on set pieces is reflective of the skill of Andrea Pirlo, it's also the only dimension of their game in which adding Mario Mandzukic would be a boon. There's really no reason that Juventus would be interested in Mario Mandzukic short of jettisoning the majority of their striker corps which is not something teams do just for giggles.

Nor should Mandzukic have any interest in moving from the club where he is currently top dog on the European champions under these circumstances. Even a club where he would be second fiddle to Robert Lewandowski would be preferable to being one among a literal pile of forwards at Juventus.

All that aside, it's likely Juventus simply won't be able to afford adding a €25M striker over next summer considering their ejection from the UEFA Champions League this season. The Europa League, while a great competition for squads with depth in getting their players rotated in, is simply not lucrative enough to sustain a squad with the talent of Juventus and add new players.

Given the dramatic nature of the Lewandowski transfer saga, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Mandzukic, similar to Mario Gomez, is haranguing for a move away from Bayern Munich. It would certainly surprise me if that side were Juventus. File this one under "really silly, unless something changes at Juventus"

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