Do Mandzukic's UK comments hint at previous Arsenal interest?

Mario Mandzukic Bayern

Former Arsenal target Mario Mandzukic reveals Premier League offers.

Former Arsenal target Mario Mandzukic has revealed he received offers from the Premier League during the summer.

The Croatian international was linked with the move to the Gunners towards the end of last season as Arsene Wenger looked to boost his attacking ranks.

The Frenchman was a big admirer of Mandzukic but instead opted to sign England striker Danny Welbeck from fellow Premier League rivals Manchester United on transfer deadline day.

It was a move which surprised many and questions were raised as to why the Gunners boss waited until the final day to get a deal done.

Was it last day desperation – or did the Premier League’s current longest-standing manager plan it all along?

In an interview with Croatian reporters over the weekend, Mandzukic revealed he had offers from England before joining Atletico Madrid and his confession could suggest that he was Wenger’s first choice.

"I had better offers than from Atletico,” he said, quoted by the Mirror. “There were calls from the UK that interested me, but I believe that their style of football is simply not my way.”

“There were also interest from Italy and some concrete offers from Russia. I'm very pleased with everything.”

“I couldn't choose a better path after leaving Bayern Munich. The fans here accepted me immediately. Atletico was the best possible decision for me at this stage of my career.”

  PositionTeamGoalsTotal ShotsChances CreatedPass CompletionAppearancesMins Played
Danny Welbeck FW Arsenal 2 20 12 85.7% 6 526
Mario Mandzukic FF Atletico Madrid 3 20 7 65.9% 7 559

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Mandzukic has had a solid yet unspectacular start to life at the Vicente Calderon, scoring three goals in seven matches.

Welbeck on the other hand has notched one less but has been more of a team player, completing 85.7% of his passes and creating 12 chances for his teammates – five more than the Croat.

Mandzukic states that the team in question’s style of play didn’t suit him, and judging by the stats shown, perhaps he doesn’t quite fit Wenger’s possession-based style either.

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