Manchester United reportedly had a deal in place to sign Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic this summer.
That’s according to ESPN journalist Mark Ogden, who says the Croatian international would have cost the Reds around £14m.
Instead, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been left extremely short in attacking options following the late departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, neither of whom were replaced.
Solskjaer is relying on the underperforming Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Martial to deliver the goals United need this summer, along with teenage sensation Mason Greenwood.
“They could have signed Mario Mandzukic at the end of the window,” Ogden said as quoted by the Express.
“A deal was agreed with Juventus, it would have cost I think around £14million.
“That for me would have been a no-brainer because yes he’s not the future but he’s a guy that ticks that box of being an experienced pro that the players can turn to and he can be a plan B in the last 20 minutes of a game if you need to score a goal to get back into it. Mandzukic has been around the block.
“They haven’t got any of those players.
“I understand Solskjaer’s decision to try and change the makeup of the squad and make it a younger squad and more hungry squad.”
Despite Mandzukic being 33 years of age, he would have at least offered a plan B option that United are so blatantly lacking going forward,
The Reds struggle to create chances by unlocking defences like teams such as Man City, so perhaps a centre-forward such as Mandzukic could have been a useful alternative.
Instead, United currently look one-dimensional in attack, and are still lacking a creative midfielder to feed Martial and Rashford that fans were crying out for this summer.
Although Lukaku was not a fan favourite at Old Trafford, he was an established striker who was guaranteed to score goals, and United no longer have a player like that among their ranks.