Owen Hargreaves Urges Man Utd to Sign Mario Mandzukic on Free Transfer

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UEFA Europa League -
Former United midfielder has encouraged the free transfer of Mario Mandzukic | VI-Images/Getty Images

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has urged the club to pursue a move for free agent Mario Mandzukic after completing the deal for Jadon Sancho.

The Red Devils secured safe passage into the Europa League quarter finals on Wednesday night as a late Anthony Martial strike completed a comeback 2-1 victory against LASK at Old Trafford – with United running out 7-1 aggregate victors.

They’ll now take on Copenhagen in the last eight following the Danish giants’ 3-0 rout over İstanbul Başakşehir in the second leg of their tie.

Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial scored a late winner against LASK to round off a comfortable aggregate triumph | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Speaking after their European victory, Hargreaves encouraged United to make a move for Mandzukic, who terminated his contract with Qatari outfit Al Duhail in July.

“Defensively they were one of the better teams in the league, but in terms of goalscoring they were way behind Liverpool and City,” said Hargreaves (via the Metro).

“You can do with a 20-goal scorer but I think I’d take Jadon [Sancho] first and then maybe get Mandzukic on a free.”

Despite recent reports suggesting an agreement’s a ‘long way off’ for Sancho – with Dortmund refusing to lower their £108m valuation – United remain confident of landing the England international. Although, that deal would wipe out a significant chunk of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s summer transfer budget, with the Norwegian keen to add three players this window.

One area in need of reinforcement is centre forward, with Odion Ighalo set to return to China in January 2021.

Martial has been in majestic form since the restart and has proved he could be the man to lead United’s line through an exciting new era, but depth is paramount.

Mario Mandžukić
Mario Mandzukic has scored just once in seven appearances over two campaigns for Al Duhail | Simon Holmes/Getty Images

Mandzukic, a scorer in two Champions League finals, was a target of the Red Devils last summer before he opted for a failed Middle Eastern venture, but the Croat impressed during his final campaign in Europe with Juventus – contributing to 14 Serie A goals in 2018/19.

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