Turin: Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that the Italian football giants have signed Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic. Although there has not yet been official confirmation of the move, Allegri admitted he is “delighted about his arrival”. “He’s a player who has scored goals in every league he’s played in. He’s got character, is an internationally experienced player and he’s going to do well in Italy,” Allegri was quoted as saying by dailymail.co.uk on Friday. “We’ve signed him because we wanted him. He’s a great player and I’m delighted about his arrival.”
There has been much speculation over the Croat’s future following an ongoing dispute with Atletico coach Diego Simeone and Manchester United was heavily touted as a possible destination. But coach Louis van Gaal, who was also linked with a move for Mandzukic when he took over the reins at United last year, has missed out as the player’s 18 million euros move to Italy will go ahead.
Mandzukic, 29, joined Atletico from Bayern Munich in July 2014, racing to 14 goals in the first half of his debut season. He scored four more in January, before a barren spell saw him go without a goal for 11 games until the end of the season. Speaking to AS earlier in June, Atletico coach Simeone said of Mandzukic: “He annoys me easily, that’s the reality. He is a great player and a decent lad. He himself is down about not maintaining the form he displayed up until February.”
Mandzukic will now be hoping he can find his scoring form once more when he begins his Serie A career. He has played in the top flight of Spain, Germany and Croatia respectively, and is likely to soon add Italy to his growing list. Mandzukic has scored 19 goals in 60 matches for Croatia.