During Christmas, Mario Mandzukic officially terminated his contract at Juventus and is ready for a move to Al Duhail in Qatar after four and a half years at the club.
When Maurizio Sarri arrived at the Allianz Arena last summer, it seemed like the former Croatia international would be heading for the door immediately, but a transfer during the summer never materialised.
One of former coach Massimiliano Allegri’s most trusted men in the Bianconeri shirt was frozen out of the squad by the new boss and has not played since last season, making a move this winter more or less inevitable.
Despite the 33-year-old remaining at the club after the transfer window had been shut, he was left out of the Champions League squad and never appeared to be in the Old Lady’s plans.
He revealed it was difficult to say goodbye to the Juventus faithful, but in a social media post he chose to leave out the names of both sporting director Fabio Paratici and President Andrea Agnelli.
“It’s impossible to summarise four and a half years in a simple goodbye,” he wrote on social media. “But I hope you have witnessed my passion for this club and for this team in every single game I have played for Juventus.”
“A big thank you to Mr. Allegri and Mr. [Giuseppe] Marotta for wanting me in Turin.
“I thank all the teammates I have had during these seasons. I really enjoyed every single battle with you, and we won most of these battles!
“I will not forget all the victories and trophies, the results of our quality, hard work and team spirit. A big thank you also to the staff who work behind the scenes – coaches, medical staff, physiotherapists and any other person who make sure that Juventus players are in their best conditions.
“Finally, the biggest thanks for the wonderful fans that are the real reason why the club is so big and successful – I really appreciated the support you showed me from day one. In conclusion, I have always tried to do my best for the Bianconeri, I wish you the best! And for me, it’s time for a new chapter.”
Mandzukic played 126 games for Juventus and scored 44 goals for the Bianconeri. He arrived in Turin from Atletico Madrid in July 2015 for €23.5m after previous spells at Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga.