AC Milan complete signing of Mandzukic until the end of the season

Mario Mandzukic Juventus 2019-20
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The Croatian striker has been a free agent since last July and joins the 39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Rossoneri's attack

AC Milan have completed the signing of former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic on a contract until the end of the season.

Mandzukic has been available on a free transfer since leaving Qatari side Al-Duhail last July and his deal with Milan contains the option for a further year.

The 34-year-old will add even greater experience to Milan’s attack, which is being spearheaded by the evergreen, and in-form, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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Why does the Mandzukic signing matter?

In joining Stefano Pioli’s side, Mandzukic will bring his vast experience to a team chasing a first Serie A title since 2011.

Mandzukic won the Scudetto four times during his spell with Juventus, while he also won the Bundesliga twice and the Champions League when he was at Bayern Munich.

Given Ibrahimovic has only just returned from injury, scoring twice on his return in Monday’s win over Cagliari, the presence of Mandzukic will provide Pioli with the opportunity to rotate his starting XI.

When will Mandzukic make his AC Milan debut?

Though it was July 2020 when Mandzukic left Al-Duhail, the Croatian has not played a competitive match since March last year, so Pioli will have a decision to make on whether to bring him straight into his plans.

Milan, who are three points clear of Inter at the top of Serie A, will face Atalanta in the league on Saturday before a Coppa Italia meeting with their city rivals on January 26. Mandzukic could be in the squad for both of those games.

What shirt number will Mandzukic wear?

Mandzukic will wear the No.9 shirt for Milan and will have to carry the burden that comes with it.

A vast array of strikers have struggled to make an impact wearing that shirt since Filippo Inzaghi scored goals for fun. The likes of Alexandre Pato, Mattia Destro, Andre Silva, Fernando Torres and Gonzalo Higuain have all failed to sparkle in the No.9 shirt.

What has been said?

Speaking after scoring both goals against Cagliari on Monday, Ibrahimovic said he was thrilled to see the club agree a deal for Mandzukic.

"I am very happy," the Swedish striker told Sky. "There will be two of us to scare the opponents now!"

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