Under achieving Premier League side, Manchester United are having additional talks with Juventus to sign Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic.
The Croatian was the striker that Nigeria’s William Troost-Ekong held in the foul that led to the penalty kick converted by Luka Modric at last year 2-0 defeat of the Super Eagles at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Manchester United have virtually secured Paulo Dybala. Now they want Mandzukic as an addition to end their struggles since the era of Sir Alex Ferguson.
According to 90Min publication, Mandzukic, who has already been linked with United both in summers past and in recent weeks, is a more typical ‘number nine’ and could be seen as a direct replacement for Romelu Lukaku as the Belgian prepares to secure his dream move to Turin.
Italian journalist Romeo Agresti tweeted that talks have been held in addition to the Dybala – Lukaku swap, suggesting there is a chance United could end up with both if successful, and that Mandzukic is not simply an alternative should Dybala decide against the Old Trafford move.
Agresti had already reported that Lukaku has agreed personal terms with Juve after United reached their own agreement with the Serie A champions earlier this week. Lukaku is tipped to earn €9m per year in Italy.
Dybala holds the key to the transfer being completed. It has been reported by the English media that he and United are still some way apart in terms of settling on wages, but Agresti notes the overriding feeling is that Dybala’s time at Juventus has come to an end.
There was talk earlier this week that former Juventus and United left-back Patrice Evra has personally called Dybala to urge him to make the switch to Old Trafford. Now, the Daily Mailreports that Cristiano Ronaldo has given his younger teammate similar advice.
It is said that Dybala sought advice from Ronaldo with a message via WhatsApp and was given a resounding endorsement for the proposed move from the veteran superstar, who won the first of his five career Ballon d’Or awards during his six-year spell at United.
Ronaldo allegedly told Dybala to go and become a ‘champion’ like he did, and the Mail report claims the 25-year-old is now ready to accept United’s offer.