Mario Mandzukic is headed out. This is absolutely 100% fact barring some sycophantic romantic comedy levels of reconciliation between Pep Guardiola and Mario Mandzukic. The only question was where. Die Welt reported he was on the verge of signing with Wolfsburg several weeks ago, before their board put the kibosh those rumors. Now it looks like Atletico Madrid are the front runners for the Croatian.
Croatian paper Vecernji is reporting that Mandzukic will transfer to Atletico Madrid for a fee of €18M. While there are certainly some question revolving around the financials at the Madrid side, the Croatian paper argues Atletico's recent sale of Diego Costa to Chelsea for €35M should be enough to at least cover the transfer of Mandzukic. The report further claims that Mario Mandzukic turned down an offer of €8M a season from Wolfsburg, which makes sense considering the lure of Champions League football against Europa League football. It's also prudent to remember Mandzukic has been in the Bundesliga for many years now, and has won everything possible. A move to another league may seem like a breath of fresh air.
As for the "should we trust it" test, our resident SBNation Balkan expert says that the paper has a good reputation. In conjunction, this rumor also passes the "does this make sense" test with flying colors. Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid are a swift, defensive counterattacking outfit that use the same kind of play style that Mario Mandzukic thrives in. His pressing ability, coupled with his physical nature and ability to win the ball will immediately be a massive boost for Atletico Madrid. This would be on the best signings the Madrid side could possibly have made to replace Diego Costa. For all of Mandzukic's faults, this would easily one of the best moves in helping him succeed away from Bayern Munich. Here's hoping this bears fruit for Mandzukic.