Premier League duo Aston Villa and West Ham have seen attempts to sign Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic rejected by the player.

That’s according to Gianluca Di Marzio, who says that the former Juventus man could instead be close to a return to Italy.

Mandzukic has been without a club since July after leaving Al-Duhail, who he joined on a free transfer from Juventus in the January transfer window.

A move back to Serie A would make sense for the striker, who spent five very successful years at Juventus following a move from Atlético Madrid in 2015.

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Di Marzio reports that he is a target for Bologna, who are on the hunt for reinforcements after striker Federico Santander was ruled out for four months after picking up an injury against Reggina.

The deal is described as a ‘very complicated operation’ on an economic level for the club, but they are not the only ones to have shown interest.

Benevento and Fiorentina already tried to sign him in the summer, while West Ham and Aston Villa are said to have been ‘turned down’ by the striker ‘recently’.

That’s all Di Marzio offers on the situation, failing to provide a reason as to why Mandzukic wasn’t interested in a move to either club or when the offers were made.

Neither club are particularly desperate for offensive reinforcements anyway, with Michail Antonio starring for West Ham and Ollie Watkins making a flying start to life at Aston Villa, so perhaps this rejection was a blessing in disguise.