Mandzukic bound for Atletico

Mandzukic bound for Atletico

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic is on the verge of joining Atletico Madrid from Bayern Munich, the German club have announced.

Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer revealed during a press conference held on Wednesday that a deal had been reached between the two clubs and the player, with an official announcement believed to be imminent.

“There is a verbal agreement between Bayern, Atletico Madrid and Mario Mandzukic,” said Sammer.

“We wish to thank Mario for his performances at Bayern and wish him all the best in the future.”

Reports emerged in the German press on Wednesday that the Bundesliga and Primera Division champions had reached a deal for the 28-year-old which is believed to be worth €22m.

Mandzukic scored 33 league goals for Bayern in the two seasons that followed his transfer to the Bavarian giants from Wolfsburg in 2012.

Although his goals helped the club win an unprecedented European and domestic treble in 2013 and a double last season, the Croatian has been deemed surplus to requirements at Bayern.

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, the Bundesliga’s top scorer last term, is set to lead the attack next season after joining from Borussia Dortmund.

Mandzukic would be Atletico’s most expensive signing since Radamel Falcao moved to the club from Porto in 2011 and his task will be filling the void left by Diego Costa – Atletico’s top scorer last season – who is joining Chelsea.

Atletico are expected to make another move for a striker in the summer to replace New York City FC-bound David Villa, and are believed to be interested in taking Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku on loan.

However, their signing of Mandzukic means that they are expected to end their pursuit of Manchester City forward Alvaro Negredo, who is valued at over £25m.

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