MANCHESTER UNITED have been given the seal of approval in their pursuit of Mario Mandzukic – by his former boss Max Allegri.
United have been trailing the veteran Juventus forward for most of the year but decided against making a move last summer in favour of maintaining a policy of targeting younger players.
That stance may be about to change with the club leaving themselves short of attacking options having sold Romelu Lukaku and moved on Alexis Sanchez without replacing them.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is understood to be more open to the prospect of bringing in a player to solve the short-term problem up front while youngsters like Mason Greenwood continue to develop.
And that could see United step up with an effort to sign Mandzukic, 33, when the transfer window opens in January.
The Croatian has been frozen out at Juventus by new manager Maurizio Sarri this season and is likely to be allowed to leave on the cheap.
He said: "He’s the example of a special player, he gave me a lot of room for manoeuvre.
"He had often changed teams, but now he’s in his fifth season with Juventus and this is one of my greatest achievements."
The ex-Bayern Munich star is exactly the kind of experienced, intelligent player United have lacked in their attack this season.
And there is likely to be no shortage of takers for a player who currently finds himself not even training with the Juventus first team.
It is believed there is an agreement for him to train away from Sarri's squad while the manager focuses on his own plans for the defending Italian champions.
The striker has not played a single minute this season, and has been left out of the club's Champions League squad – but could be the ideal person to bring in to United over the winter.