West Ham United have long been linked with a move for 247-goal Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic.

Read: Dire straits could help West Ham land US international for cut price fee

Well now the cash-strapped Hammers could land him on a free transfer after his contract with Qatari club Al-Duhail was terminated by mutual consent.

Mandzukic has been linked with West Ham in every window since Slaven Bilic was in charge of the Hammers.

The likes of The Mirror have reported that West Ham were pushing to sign the versatile 34-year-old forward under Manuel Pellegrini too.

And The Mirror also claimed David Moyes wanted to sign the Croatian on loan in January despite reservations about his age.

Photo by Tullio Puglia Juventus FC via Getty Images

West Ham target Mandzukic reveals surprise availability on free transfer

But Mandzukic, who has scored 214 club goals in a superb career and a further 33 for his national team, signed a lucrative deal in Qatar instead.

However the striker has revealed that chapter has come to an end after a six month spell interrupted by the global health crisis.

“I reached an agreement with Al-Duhail management to terminate my contract by mutual consent,” Mandzukic said on Twitter.

He added: “I appreciate the trust and hospitality that I have received in Qatar and I wish the best to the club and the team in the future.”

Football Italia are already reporting interest from newly promoted Benevento who want to bring Mandzukic back to Serie A.

But in many ways the forward would be the ideal short-term fix for West Ham next season providing the Hammers avoid relegation.

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Super Mario the perfect short-term fix for West Ham

The Hammers have left themselves woefully short in several key areas this season, particularly up front.

Sebastien Haller has cut a lonely figure up top for much of a torrid campaign.

A lack of back-up for Haller is being felt at the most crucial stage of the season for West Ham with the striker missing all four games since the restart and remaining a doubt for Burnley this Wednesday.

Mandzukic may be nearing the end of his career but a one year deal next season would suit all parties.

Photo by Daniele Badolato Juventus FC via Getty Images

An ideal signing for cash-strapped West Ham

It would give West Ham an experienced and top quality partner or back-up for Haller and would cost the club nothing in terms of a fee.

And that would prove attractive given the impact of the crisis on West Ham’s finances.

Mandzukic can also play as a winger and wide-forward – as he did on so many occasions with great success at Juve.

Haller may also be able to learn a lot from Mandzukic, who is renowned for his robustness.

West Ham boss Moyes wants to build a new-look side around a mix of young, hungry players and experienced senior stars.

So it would be no surprise to see West Ham re-enter the frame for Mandzukic in the coming weeks when the transfer window re-opens.

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