With top target Henrikh Mkhitaryan set to either see out his Dortmund contract, which expires next summer, or head to his preferred destination, Manchester United, it’s time for Arsène Wenger to start looking at alternatives.
Wenger is searching for two signings to add quality to his Arsenal side without disrupting the balance, and a prolific winger to replace Theo Walcott could well be the answer. Riyad Mahrez has been among the other names mentioned, but new reports claim that Arsenal could turn to Croatian winger Ivan Perisic, who plays for Serie A club Inter Milan at the moment.
TalkSport reports that doubts over Walcott’s future have led to Arsenal closely monitoring the 27-year-old, who scored a screamer against Arsenal, as a Dortmund player, back in 2011. Perisic joined Inter from Wolfsburg for €16 million last summer, and had a solid season, scoring nine goals.
Wenger admires the current Croatian team, and even has them down as the “surprise package” at this summer’s European Championships, so it comes as no surprise that he would consider one of their best players as an option in the transfer window. Perisic was Croatia’s top scorer in the qualifiers, and scored the winner against Spain on Tuesday – his second of the tournament – to earn his side top spot in Group D.
Although the player’s Inter contract is a long-term one, his performances in France will surely attract attention from top clubs around Europe, and he could be swayed by the prospect of Champions League football, which Inter cannot offer him.
In fact, the player’s agent told the press in March that Perisic would consider leaving if he felt that there was no hope of the current side challenging for major honours (via FCInter1908.it). A switch to a big club may be the perfect move for him as he questions Inter Milan’s ambition.
Wenger will surely be watching as Croatia take on Portugal in the Round of 16 on Saturday night.