Earlier today, the Spanish press kindly informed the world that Romelu Lukaku is set to replace Diego Costa at Atletico Madrid (on loan), in the process greasing the wheels of the Filipe Luis transfer. Now if you thought that was a bit far fetched, do not panic. The Croatian press is here to save you with perhaps an even bigger pile of steaming BS.
"According to the latest information from Madrid, the best Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic (28) arranged for the transfer into the ranks of the Spanish League and European Cup runner-up Atletico Madrid! [His transfer fee] reportedly weighs 18 million euros, which means that Bayern gave the Spaniards a discount since the original [asking price] was as high as 25 million."
"This astronomical sum refused, for example, Arsenal and Juventus, but as the Atletico just sold Diego Costa Chelsea for 35 million euros, Simeone himself without difficulty could afford a large Croatian star. Mario Mandzukic will be the first Croatian player to Calderon..."
-source: Večernji list via Google Translate
I'll tell you what weighs 18 million somethings...
That said, if Atletico truly got Mandzukic for €18m, that's just about the bargain of the summer transfer window. While Bayern would be making a profit even at that price (they paid €13m for him in 2012), this is the striker who led the line when the German side dominated Europe a couple seasons ago and then managed to even better his goal-scoring ratio this past season despite Pep Guardiola's increasingly desperate
cries for attention attempts to reinvent the wheel. Surely, were they to sell him -- which would run contrary to their words from a few months ago -- they could get a fair bit more than that!
Or maybe I'm just used to Premier League prices.
With the arrival of Robert Lewandowski, Mandzukic had been linked with a return to his old club Wolfsburg in addition to various top clubs around Europe. But if he did or does end up switch to the Spanish champions, at least that puts the Lukaku rumors exactly where they belong. On the trash pile.