Mario Mandzukic transfer latest: Bayern Munich striker puts Premier League clubs on alert after announcing he wants exit

Croatian hitman does not believe Pep's tiki-taka plays to his strengths

Tom Sheen
Monday 09 June 2014 12:43

Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic has announced he will leave the club after the World Cup because Pep Guardiola’s style of play does not suit him.

The 28-year-old’s announcement has put a host of Premier League clubs on red alert with Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all said to be interested.

Mandzukic, a £10.5million signing from Wolfsburg in June 2012, scored 26 goals for Bayern last season, but just two of those came in the final 11 games of the season, and he was left out of the German Cup final win over Borussia Dortmund.

"I met (Bayern chairman) Karl Heinz Rummenigge before the cup final and told him I wanted to leave the club," Mandzukic told Croation newspaper Sportske Novosti.

Mandzukic scored 26 goals for Bayern last season

"I've had a fantastic time at Bayern. It's a great club and I never thought I'd want to leave, and especially not at this point in time.

"But, let's be honest, I cannot play to my strengths under Guardiola's style - no matter how hard I try.

"I realised that after the 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final first leg and, that being the case, it's best for all parties that we go our separate ways.

"Guardiola is an outstanding coach and I wish him and everyone else at the club all the best in the future.

"Bayern and the club's fans will remain the best and most emotional chapter in my career."

Mandzukic is believed to prefer a more direct style of play, something which Guardiola’s tiki-taka does not offer.

He is in Brazil with the Croation team but will miss the tournament opener against Brazil on Thursday because of a red car he picked up in the play-off win over Iceland.

He added: "It's time for a fresh challenge but don't insist because I have nothing to say. The public will be informed when the time comes, right now I am focused solely on the World Cup."

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