Almost a month on, Manchester United’s decision not to sign Mario Mandzukic appears to have worked out badly for everybody concerned.
United held talks to sign Mandzukic separately to a failed Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku swap deal.
The Times reported United backed off the move, believing Juventus’ £14 million asking price and the striker’s £150,000 per-week wage demands were too excessive.
Mandzukic is 33, but there was a clear case to sign a penalty box predator who could teach Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial a thing or two.
And that was before Romelu Lukaku’s exit to Inter Milan was confirmed.
Opening game aside, United have struggled in front of goal, scoring just three goals in the last three matches.
Even as an option from the bench, Mandzukic is the type of goalscorer who could have turned a draw into a win. He was needed against Southampton.
The Croatian striker was expected to find a move elsewhere. Football Italia speculated he could return to Bayern Munich.
In the end he remained with Juventus, and this is not a good scenario for him.
Juventus announced their Champions League squad this week, and Mandzukic was omitted from it.
He did not feature in either of the club’s opening Serie A fixtures either. This could be a long hard season for him watching on and not playing any football.
£14 million should have been small fry for United, and not signing a striker was a real risk, regardless of the potential Mason Greenwood brings.
It appears Mandzukic could be an even bigger loser from United’s decision than the Red Devils are.
- United talent Matej Kovar is beginning to show what he is capable of
- Aaron Wan-Bissaka demonstrates desire and quality in United win
- James Maddison showed the quality he could add to Manchester United
- Hannibal Mejbri makes Manchester United under-18s debut
- Solskjaer improves in-game management with changes to take United into top four