Mario Mandzukic is a surprise January target for West Ham

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Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic could be set for a shock move to West Ham this January.

Reports this week suggest the Croatian forward may be nearing an exit from the Old Lady, something which has been touted since Juve splashed out £75m on Gonzalo Higuain in the summer.

But while a move isn’t too surprising, the news that West Ham may be his next destination is leftfield.

The Hammers have endured a woeful start to the season, and have had to fight off speculation that star man Dimitri Payet may leave the London side in light of their struggles.

A big January signing could go some way to appeasing Payet, while also helping lift the Hammers away from the relegation zone.

At 30, Mandzukic still has plenty to offer, and his goalscoring record should be more than enough to excite the Hammers faithful.

The Croatian international can count over 180 career goals, including a mega 48 in just 88 games for Bayern Munich.

A further 20 goals in just one season with Atletico Madrid is another high point on a glittering CV which has seen Mandzukic win two Bundesligas, a Champions League, a Serie A title, a Supercopa Espana, plus UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Club World Cups.

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic could be the key in this deal for West Ham.

Bilic has known Mandzukic for over 10 years, coaching him at both Croatia U21 and Senior levels.

Indeed the Hammers boss handed the striker both his U21 and senior debuts.

The deal would be a major coup, but thanks to Bilic, it’s a lot more credible than it may originally seem.

After imploding away at rivals Tottenham last weekend, the Hammers’ latest bid to find some form sees them head to Old Trafford on Sunday.

However, match odds of 6/1 suggest they’re very much outsiders to beat Jose Mourinho’s men.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.