Manchester United target Milan Mandzukic has shocked Europe’s top clubs by swapping Juventus for Qatari league leaders Al-Duhail.
Croatia striker Mandzukic, 33, has regularly been linked with Old Trafford, especially after Juve boss Maurizio Sarri snubbed him all this season.
But United’s interest is said to have waned last month and now the 2018 World Cup finalist, whose goal saw off England in the semis, has opted for what could be a big final payday in the Middle East.
United chief Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now seems likely to focus on recruiting fellow Norwegian Erling Haaland, 19, who has been in sensational scoring form for Austrians RB Salzburg forward.
Yet reports in Italy suggest Juventus are favourites to beat United in the £25 million race to sign Haaland, possibly in next month’s transfer window.
Haaland’s 22 goals in 28 club games this term include eight Champions League strikes.
But both Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport tip Juve to edge out United, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig for the ex-Molde star.
Meanwhile, Mandzukic’s exit for the Italian champions appeared inevitable after he failed to start a single minute under Sarri.
He was even told to stay away from Juve’s Christmas celebrations.
It was all so different, though, under Sarri’s predecessor Massimiliano Allegri.
Mandzukic notched four Serie A titles and three Italian Cup successes, as well as netting a brilliant overhead kick when Juventus lost the 2017 Champions League final 4-1 to Real Madrid.
Overall, he represented Juve 117 times with 30 goals, having previously represented Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced with permission.