Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Mario Mandzukic Would Be Perfect Summer Signing

Ravin SampatCorrespondent IIFebruary 6, 2014

Bayern's Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates after scoring during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt in Munich, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Frank Augstein/Associated Press

After Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday that the Gunners would not be going in for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez again, Arsenal will be in the market for a new striker this summer.

With interest cooling in Suarez and Oliver Kay and George Caulkin of The Times (subscription required) suggesting that Chelsea is in pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, Arsene Wenger would be shrewd to turn his attention to Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic.

The Bayern striker started the season very well and was one of Pep Guardiola's most trusted lieutenants, but his position in the team is under threat.

According to the Mirror, the Croatian striker has recently fallen out of favour with the Bayern coach after Guardiola was angered by his poor training performances.

This being the case, Mandzukic is the type of player that could supplement Olivier Giroud— he has scored 17 goals in 28 appearances in all competitions so far this season. 

Mandzukic's position at Bayern will be under scrutiny now that Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is arriving at the Allianz Arena in the summer.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01:  Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Britannia Stadium on February 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Phot
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Arsenal have needed a striker since Robin van Persie left for Manchester United last season. Giroud has done a marvelous job up front, but he has been doing the job all alone. Wenger's lack of striking options has meant the Frenchman has been overutilised.

His fatigue in certain games has been evident. Arsenal's lack of options have hindered the Gunners up front throughout the season and they remain atop the table based on a series of solid defensive performances.

There is no doubt Arsenal had an interest in Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler, as reported by James Dickenson of the Daily Express, but in what was one of the longest transfer sagas of the January transfer window, the Gunners missed out on their target.

According to John Cross of the Mirror, a deal was put in place for Draxler to move to the Emirates in January, but Wenger pulled the plug on the deal.

This may have been a wise decision because a striker is what Arsenal neednot another attacking midfielder.

Giroud has managed 10 goals in 22 league games this season. Injuries at different points of the season to Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Nicklas Bentdner have meant the goals have dried-up, something not associated with an Arsenal side under Wenger.

The Gunners' very public pursuit of a striker has left them red-faced throughout the season.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal (L) celebrates scoring their second goal with Santi Cazorla of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park on January 13, 2014 in Birmingham, E
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

They were left frustrated after they failed in a £40 million and £1 bid for Suarez last summer, which was rejected by Liverpool. Wayne Veysey of notes that The Uruguayan ended up signing a new £200,000-a-week contract with the Reds, who fended off any January interest in their star striker.

As touched on by Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph, Wenger has made no secret of his desire to sign a striker, but the club's recent failure to sign Draxler means Arsenal will have plenty of options in the summer.

They have been linked with a host of strikers since then, the latest being Mario Balotelli. Writing in the Metro, Jamie Sanderson says that Arsenal’s recently announced kit deal with Puma could help the Gunners fund a move for the controversial Italian striker.

If Arsene Wenger is serious about mounting a title challenge, however, Mandzukic would be the perfect tonic for his talented Arsenal team.

Ravin Sampat is a B/R Breaking News Writer. You can find his B/R archive here and follow him @_Sampat