Arsene Wenger has hinted that he is interested in signing Mario Mandzukic, although he accepts Bayern Munich will not sell this month.
Arsenal were thought to be in the market for a new striker during the January transfer window, even before Theo Walcott was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. With Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner currently struggling with illness and injury respectively, Lukas Podolski is now their only fit frontman.
Wenger has funds to spend should a suitable target present itself, but he has made no secret of the fact that the mid-season window is a difficult time to add genuine quality to the squad. One player he would have loved to have sign is Robert Lewandowski, yet the Pole has agreed to join Bayern Munich at the end of the campaign.
The Gunners coach admits he held an interest in the Borussia Dortmund ace, but believes he was always set for the Alianz Arena. But as a consequence of the 25-year-old heading to Bayern, this could result in Mandzukic becoming available. And this is something Wenger has indicated he will keep an eye on over the remainder of the season.
“We looked into it (signing Lewandowski), but honestly, he signed (for Bayern) one-and-a-half years ago,” he said. “Lewandowski is at Borussia Dortmund until the end of the season, and Bayern will not sell Mandzukic now, but maybe at the end of the season.”
Mandzukic has been at Bayern since signing from Wolfsburg in the summer of 2012 for a reported fee of around £10million. Last season he helped the Bavarians to the treble, including the UEFA Champions League, and this term he has scored 12 goals in 20 appearances. The Croatian international, 27, remains under contract at the Bundesliga champions until 2016, so would likely command a large transfer fee.