A report in the Express suggests that Mario Mandzukic, the Juventus target man, could be brought to Manchester this summer.
He may not be the best option out there though.
Finding a striker who is happy to spend the majority of the season starting on the bench, but is good enough to contribute when called upon, isn’t easy. It’s the same dilemma that Pochettino is facing at Spurs and Puel at Leicester. Fernando Llorente has proved a poor alternative to Harry Kane, and the Foxes lose their goal threat whenever Vardy is absent.
Mourinho has attacking options at Old Trafford but no one able to replicate the physical presence, and reproduce the role played by, his big Belgian no. 9.
Bringing in a back-up option to Lukaku this summer who can provide that aerial threat and hold up play would be a wise buy this summer. A move like this would give the United boss a more efficient plan B than simply lobbing Fellaini up there.
In the case of a long term injury to Lukaku, the current alternative options include Rashford, Sanchez and Martial. All undoubtedly top class players, but none of them mirror Lukaku’s style and are therefore unsuited to playing a central role in Mourinho’s system.
Mandzukic is the man being linked with coming to United to take up this squad role, but Mourinho should perhaps feel that he can do better.
The ex-Manchester City hit man was a target for Chelsea back in January, and now United should be looking to bring the Bosnian in.
Dzeko would provide great back up to Lukaku, and would be able to imitate the Belgian’s function in the team should the first choice man be unavailable.
Dzeko has Premier League experience, a great goal scoring record and is currently enjoying a fine spell of form with Roma.
The acquisition of the man who you used be a fan favourite with United’s sky blue rivals would also go down well with the Old Trafford faithful. Reluctance on Dzeko’s part to play for the red half of Manchester is a potential stumbling block for this deal though. If he can get past that though, United should press for a deal.
The 32-year-old Bosnian is valued at £22 million by Transfermarkt, and appears to have more left in his legs than Mandzukic, who is also 32.
The Croatian is only valued at £16.2 million on Transfermarkt, so he may be the cheaper option but Dzeko is certainly the better one in a footballing sense. For the sake of that transfer fee hike, it could be the difference between the Premier League trophy returning to Old Trafford or not.