Mandzukic extends Juventus contract to 2021

Juventus’ Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic controls the ball during the Italian Serie A football Juventus v Empoli on March 30, 2019. (AFP pic)

MILAN: Forward Mario Mandzukic has extended his contract with Juventus until 2021, the Italian champions confirmed on Wednesday.

“Mario Mandzukic’s Bianconero career will continue until 2021. The official notice of his contract renewal was confirmed today and it is news that the Bianconeri fans will warmly welcome,” Juve said in a statement.

The 32-year-old arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2015 and has scored 43 goals in 159 appearances for the runaway Serie A leaders, in addition to delivering 19 assists.

This season he has scored nine goals in all competitions, including the winner against Valencia that qualified Juventus for the Champions League last 16, but has not found the net since December 22.

“It is a big honour to play for this amazing club,” said the Croatian.

“I’ll reward that faith by giving my maximum effort every time I step on the pitch in our famous #bianconeri jersey. Forza Juve!”

Since Mandzukic’s move to Italy he has won three consecutive league and cup doubles, and is poised for his fourth ‘Scudetto’ as Juve close in on their eighth in a row.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side could win the league title with seven games to spare – which would be the earliest any team has ever sealed Serie A – this weekend if they beat AC Milan and nearest challengers Napoli lose at home to Genoa.

They travel to Ajax in the Champions League quarter-finals next week as they target European glory for the first time since 1996.