‘Bayern need Mandzukic, not Coutinho, to win the UCL’

A former star of the Bundesliga title holders feels a raid should be launched to bring a striker back from Juventus, not to land a Barcelona schemer

Philippe Coutinho represents a “risk” that Bayern Munich do not need to take, says Stefan Effenberg, with Mario Mandzukic a more suitable option for a club looking to land the Champions League crown.

Various attacking options are reportedly being considered by the Bundesliga title holders ahead of the German transfer window swinging shut.

Added creativity is considered to be a top priority, with Bayern having snapped up Ivan Perisic from Inter but missed out on a number of other mooted targets.

A late bid to get more bodies on board is said to have led those at the Allianz Arena towards Barcelona, with the Liga giants eager to get Brazil international playmaker Coutinho off their books so that they can re-sign Neymar.

Bayern are one of few clubs that could finance a swoop for the South American, but Effenberg is not convinced that a move for the 27-year-old schemer should be made.

He told t-online: “Coutinho knows neither the Bundesliga nor coach [Niko] Kovac, he speaks no German and is at a top Spanish club but not a regular player.

“He has completed just eight of 38 Primera Division games over 90 minutes, scoring five goals and assisting two.

“Coutinho has great qualities, but a transfer for Bayern would be a risk.

“Bayern needs someone who can help immediately, does not need any time to adjust, is not a risk. And there’s a better solution than Coutinho in my view.”

Former Bayern star Effenberg believes that the man that the Bavarians should be targeting is Juventus striker Mandzukic.

The Croatia international has previously spent two years with the club, netting 48 goals in just 88 appearances between 2012 and 2014, and could be the attacking spark alongside Robert Lewandowski that allows another challenge for European glory to be staged.

Effenberg added: “Mandzukic would be the second absolute top transfer [after Perisic], who would help to bring Bayern back to where they wants to go – in the top group of Europe.

“Bayern would suddenly have another chance at winning the Champions League and we would not have to talk about Leroy Sane or Timo Werner.

“He has great experience, knows the Bundesliga and coach Kovac very well.

“He is rarely or never injured. And he stands for mentality and a self-sacrificing game. That’s what I love about him, that has always impressed me.

“Mandzukic is still hungry. He would be very helpful for two or three years.”

It could be that an exit door is opened for Mandzukic at Juve, with the Serie A champions having been unable to move Paulo Dybala on while still having Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain on their books.