ESPN FC pundit Steve Nicol believes Manchester United are likely to push through the transfer of Mario Mandzukic from Juventus when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.
The Red Devils have lacked the depth in the centre-forward department this term after the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez (on loan) to Inter Milan while Anthony Martial has been on the sidelines for six weeks with a hamstring concern.
Martial could return to first-team action following the ongoing international break but United are still understood to be looking at the prospect of pursuing an experienced striker with Marcus Rashford struggling to make the difference upfront.
One of the names regularly mentioned in recent months has been Mandzukic and speaking on the ESPN FC show, former Liverpool star Nicol has said that the 33-year-old will most probably make the move to Old Trafford during the winter transfer window.
“I think it happens and I think it’s pretty much signed and sealed as well. So yeah I don’t think there’s any question this is a hit. He’s not going to do any worse [than what United have]. Mandzukic, an old campaigner, experienced. He will come in for a short period of time and do a good job,” he told ESPN FC as reported by The Express.
Mandzukic was earmarked as a replacement for Lukaku prior to the Premier League transfer deadline in August but a deal failed to materialise. Nonetheless, the Croatian has continuously been speculated as a transfer target and it remains to be seen whether United make a renewed approach in January.
The Croatian has not played a single minute of gametime for the Bianconeri after falling out-of-favour under Maurizio Sarri. Still, he would prove a quality signing for United on a short-term basis, given he is impressive with his hold-up play and will provide a genuine aerial threat in the box which has been missing from the likes of Rashford and Martial.