Atletico Madrid have opened talks with Carlos Tevez, as they prepared to let Mario Mandzukic leave after just one season at the Vicente Calderon.
Mandzukic left Bayern Munich for Atletico in an £18.5million transfer last summer and began life in Spain in impressive form, scoring 20 goals in all competitions before 21 February. But the 29-year-old then went on a barren run of 12 matches without finding the back of the net, and it now looks as though he will be sold by Los Rojiblancos as they prepare for the 2015/16 campaign.
“He [Mandzukic] is a good player and a good guy,” said head coach Diego Simeone, who was unable to lead the capital club to a successive title success. “He himself was unhappy at the way he was unable to continue performing how he had done up to February. I said to him: ‘We have to beat the record that you had at Bayern of 28 goals,’ but he was unable to unfortunately.”
Atletico are now hoping to prise Tevez from the clutches of Juventus, in what would be one of the most headline signings of the summer. The Argentina international has been in Turin since 2013, and has played a key role in their winning of two Serie A titles and one Coppa Italia Cup, and also scored three Champions League goals on their way to the final which they lost to Barcelona.
“I know the club is speaking with his agent,” Simeone added when asked of the possibility of landing the 31-year-old in the coming weeks. “It is always good to have a player like Tevez. He is hot-blooded, which is a healthy part of this sport, and that is aside from how many goals he is able to score in a season. He would be a perfect signing considering the football that Atletico Madrid play.”