It was just a few days before Christmas that we got word from the Italian press that Juventus and Mario Mandzukic were in the process of working out a new deal for everybody’s favorite grumpy Croatian.
A little over three months later, it seems like we’re about to get our answer.
According to both Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus and Mandzukic have agreed to the aforementioned contract extension that has been in the works for the past few months. Mandzukic, whose current deal expires after the 2020-21 season, will see another year tacked onto his contract, according to both media outlets.
The breakdown of the detail, according to Di Marzio:
The Croatian striker extended his contract through 2022 while his previous deal expired in 2021, Mandzukic’s salary was increased from €5.5 to €6.5 million net of taxes per year.
By the time the contract comes to an end, Mandzukic will be close to his late-30s and likely on the brink of his final days as a professional player. Knowing that, this is probably going to be the last big kind of payday that Mandzukic will see.
He’s shown, regardless of where Max Allegri has played him, to be well worth it.
Of course, with Mandzukic signing on for another year, the question remains — regardless of who is managing this team come the start of the 2019 season (or any other) — just how he will be utilized once he hits his mid-30s. Mandzukic turns 33 at the end of May, and as we’ve seen this season it’s not exactly like he can continually produce up front, as a target man, with heavy minutes on his legs. And, with Moise Kean seemingly breaking out over the last couple of months, it’s not like Juve’s teenage starlet isn’t going to take playing sparingly all that much longer.
But that’s something to ponder for down the road. For now, we know that pretty much all that stands between Mandzukic and a contract extension through the 2021-22 season is the official announcement.