Bayern extend Pizarro deal - Is Pep preparing to sell Mandzukic?

Arsenal and Chelsea target Mario Mandzukic could be closer to a move from Bayern Munich, after the German side extended Claudio Pizarro's contract.

German website and magazine Kicker has confirmed that experienced striker Claudio Pizarro has signed on for another season at Bayern Munich.

The one-year deal suggests that Pep Guardiola has his back up striker option covered, with Robert Lewandowksi arriving after his contract at Borussia Dortmund expired.

The deal could make Guardiola more open to doing a transfer for forward Mario Mandzukic, linked with high profile moves to Premier League giants Arsenal and Chelsea.

Pizarro will be nothing more than a back up next season, as he was this season with just 17 Bundesliga appearances and Mandzukic will be wary of falling into the same category.

The Gunners are searching for a centre forward to partner and compete with Olivier Giroud up front next season, with the attack one of the areas Arsene Wenger must address this summer.

Arsenal have the resources to be able to do a deal for Mandzukic, with the club’s financial strength well documented.

Chelsea have been linked with several high profile strikers with a well documented pursuit of Diego Costa and lingering links suggesting a move for Radamel Falcao of Monaco could still be possible.

Any deal for Mandzukic from the Blues would seemingly depend on their chances of getting the mentioned targets.

However, both clubs can play on the fact that Bayern have an experienced alternative striker sewn up and committed for next season.

Guardiola can afford to go into next season with a system based around using Lewandowski as the sole striker, with Pizarro as back up because of the versatility in his squad.

Arjen Robben has been used in a number ten role at times this season, while Franck Ribery has also tucked into central attacking positions as well as being used down either side of the attack.

There is also still a very good chance that Bayern could go out and buy another centre forward as they’ve not had to pay a fee for getting Lewandowski committed to an Allianz move.

Mandzukic is the sort of player that won’t want to sit on the bench next season. He’s suited to being used as a sole striker, which simply won’t happen with Lewandowski already at the club.

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