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May 15, 2014

Mandzukic to miss DFB-Pokal final

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson discusses Bastian Schweinsteiger's injury and how it is being handled leading up to the World Cup.

Mario Mandzukic has been left out of the Bayern Munich squad for Saturday's DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund.

• 50-50 Challenge: Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund
• Lahm: Guardiola right fit for Bayern

Along with injured teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mandzukic was not on board the Bundesliga champions' flight to Berlin on Thursday, and Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has confirmed that neither player will take part in the final.

However, when questioned about the reasons for Mandzukic's absence, Guardiola remained tight-lipped.

"He is capable of playing, but that is my decision [to leave him out]. That's all," he said at his prematch news conference.

According to Sport Bild, Mandzukic is already on his way to Croatia to join up with his national team ahead of the World Cup, and Guardiola bid farewell to the attacker on Thursday.

"I wish you success at your new club," Guardiola is reported to have said.

Mandzukic is under contract at Bayern until 2016, but his future at the club has been under scrutiny since the announcement of Robert Lewandowski's summer arrival from Dortmund.

While Bayern officials have maintained that the Croatia international will stay at the club, speculation persists that he will move on, and the attacker -- who scored 18 goals in the Bundesliga this eason -- was left on the substitutes' bench for the game at Hamburg earlier this month.

Mandzukic refused to commit himself to the club following that game, telling kicker: "Soon, you will all find out [about my future]."

Mandzukic, who has scored 33 Bundesliga goals in 54 games for Bayern since joining from Wolfsburg in 2012, was linked with a switch to Chelsea by Bild on Friday.

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