Report: Chelsea identify Mario Mandzukic as new target after missing out on Lukaku

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic applauds fans after the game

Romelu Lukaku's decision to remain at Everton may push Chelsea manager Antonio Conte in the direction of his former club as he searches for a new striker.

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic applauds fans after the game

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is keen to bring Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic to Stamford Bridge, according to The Mirror.

The former Italy manager had identified Everton striker Romelu Lukaku as his primary target as he looks to alleviate the goalscoring burden from Diego Costa, but has now reportedly turned to Mandzukic after Belgian committed his future to the Merseyside club.

The 30-year-old only arrived at Juventus last summer after signing from Atletico Madrid but is likely to see his playing time reduced following the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain and the exceptional form of Paulo Dybala (below).

Paulo Dybala 2

And Conte is reportedly keen on offering a way out for the Croatian international, who scored 10 goals in 27 Serie A appearances to help Juventus to a fifth successive Scudetto last season.

According to The Mirror, he would cost Chelsea a reported £25 million, a third of the fee that Everton were demanding for Lukaku (below).

Everton's Romelu Lukaku

Mandzukic appears to fit Conte’s specifications, renowned for his fighting spirit and hot-headed temperament, something he undoubtedly shares with Chelsea’s current first-choice centre-forward.

Furthermore, Mandzukic’s season under the tutelage of Diego Simeone (below) at Atletico is likely to prepare him for Conte’s forceful personality and belief that his players defend from the front with an aggressive press.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone

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