Mario Mandzukic
Mario Mandzukic Reuters

Arsenal are preparing a shock swoop to sign Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich during the summer transfer window, according to the Metro.

The report claims that the Gunners have earmarked the 28-year-old, who is also reported to be a target for Chelsea, as an alternative for Mario Balotelli.

The former Manchester City striker remains a priority signing for Arsene Wenger but he prefers to keep his options open and could make an approach for Mandzukic if a deal for the AC Milan striker collapses.

The Croatian international has admitted his intentions to leave the reigning Bundesliga champions after falling out of favour with Pep Guardiola and citing differences over the Spaniard's style of play.

Mandzukic's current contract with the Bavarians runs out in 2016 and he is likely to be available for cheap. Arsenal are thought to be keen on tabling a £15m bid for the former Wolfsburg star if AC Milan rebuff their offer for Balotelli.

The north London club are thought to have already made an offer of £25m for the Italian international. To further convince the former Manchester City striker to move to the Emirates, Wenger is reportedly ready to offer him a staggering £180,000-a-week package to secure his signature.

However, the Serie A giants are thought to be asking for £27m but will consider reducing the price if Arsenal include Joel Campbell in the deal. The Frenchman desperately wants a striker to strengthen his side's attacking prowess and ease the goal-scoring burden on his compatriot Olivier Giroud.

It is uncertain whether Campbell will be allowed to leave the north London club permanently this summer given that Wenger has stated that the Costa Rican forward will be part of his squad for pre-season.

Currently on World Cup duty with Croatia, Mandzukic was suspended for the opening game at the 2014 Fifa World Cup against Brazil. However, he went on to score a brace in their next Group A game as Niko Kovac's side routed Cameroon 4-0.

The Metro report suggests that Wenger was in attendance at the Arena Amazonia, Manaus, on Thursday to witness the Bayern striker in action. The Arsenal boss is aiming to seal the deal for either Balotelli or Mandzukic as soon as the World Cup concludes next month.

The Croatian striker is believed to be interested in moving to the Emirates if all the parties arrive at an agreement. Mandzukic was Bayern's top scorer last season with 26 goals in all competitions as Guardiola's side clinched the domestic double by winning the Bundesliga and the German Cup.