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Verbal agreement

Mandzukic poised to join Atletico Madrid

After two seasons in Munich, Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic is poised to leave FC Bayern and join Spanish champions and Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid. “Nothing’s signed yet, but there are verbal agreements between FC Bayern and Atletico Madrid and between Mario and Atletico,” reported FCB board director for sport Matthias Sammer at the start of the club’s pre-season training programme on Wednesday.

“I think we can all rely on each other's word and we’ll soon announce closure,” continued Sammer, who said Mandzukic had “always behaved correctly and in an exemplary fashion” during his time at the club: “I have only positive things to say about him.” After joining Bayern from Wolfsburg, the 28-year-old marksman scored 33 goals in 54 Bundesliga appearances for the Reds.

Mandzukic bundled home the crucial opening goal against Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley in London and made a vital overall contribution to FCB's historic treble triumph. “We want to thank Mario Mandzukic for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future,” said Sammer. Atletico need Mandzukic to replace Spain World Cup player Diego Costa, who is joining English Premier League club Chelsea.