Who could Tottenham Hotspur target in January?
By Football Whispers
Last Updated: 16/11/16 2:12pm
After finishing third last season, unbeaten Tottenham currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, just five points behind leaders Liverpool.
Mauricio Pochettino's men occupy a strong position and are rightly considered genuine title contenders this term. But, with the fixtures coming thick and fast between now and the end of the season, who could they turn to in January in order to bolster their squad?
Football Whispers take a look at two potential targets...
Mandzukic joined Juventus from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2015 and scored 13 goals in 36 appearances to help the Old Lady secure a domestic double.
This season, however, the towering Croatian striker has been forced to play second fiddle to Gonzalo Higuain, and Italian website CalcioMercato believes that Tottenham are readying a move for the experienced target man.
Mandzukic has started eight of Juve's 12 league games so far in this campaign, but has completed a full 90 minutes on just four occasions and has only found the net twice.
With Higuain and 23-year-old superstar Paulo Dybala considered the first-choice strike pairing in Turin, Mandzukic could be open to a move away in the near future.
With a total of 15 goals in 49 appearances for the Italian champions, Mandzukic has been solid, if unspectacular. But the 30-year-old has shown himself to be capable of being prolific when made the centre-piece of a team's attack.
That was the case during his two-year spell with Bayern Munich, where he scored 22 goals from 40 games in the treble-winning 2012/13 season, and bagged 28 from 46 in the following campaign. Even though his time at Atletico was not considered a success, he still managed 20 goals from 43 appearances.
Even when not firing on all cylinders, Mandzukic remains a handful for opposing defenders. Standing at 6ft 3ins, he cuts an imposing figure in the penalty area and has won 53 per cent of his duels so far this season. When the ball is in the air, Mandzukic really comes into his own: this season he has won 59 per cent of his aerial duels.
Back in August, the Daily Mail reported that Tottenham had made an enquiry over the availability of Manchester United midfielder Schneiderlin. The Red Devils resolved to hold onto the French international but the Mail claimed Spurs would continue to monitor the 27-year-old's situation at Old Trafford with a potential January bid on the cards.
Since then, Schneiderlin has been somewhat of an outcast at United, featuring in just two of the Red Devils' Premier League games this season for a paltry total of 16 minutes.
Having fallen out of favour for Les Bleus due to a lack of playing time at club level, the former Southampton player may need to seek a move elsewhere in order to rekindle his international career.
Spurs boss Pochettino worked with Schneiderlin at St Mary's and the White Hart Lane club tried in vain to sign the Frenchman in 2014, only for the Saints to refuse to sell their star man causing the player to publicly criticise his then-employers on social media.
Last season Schneiderlin made 39 appearances for United for a total of 2205 minutes on the pitch. He managed only a single goal and registered no assists in that time, but in his role as a defensive midfielder, far greater emphasis is placed on the ability to stifle opponents rather than attacking creativity.
To that end, 50 tackles won, an average of four defensive actions (tackles, interceptions, etc.) per game and zero defensive errors represents a healthy level of productivity. He also completed 89 per cent of his passes, showing that, as well as being adept at winning possession, he knows how to use the ball safely and effectively.
However, with Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier as his defensive-midfield options, Pochettino might elect to focus on strengthening other areas of his squad.