Manchester United’s pursuit of Ivan Perisic has stalled in the last couple of weeks, but Inter might have just given them some words of encouragement.
The Premier League side had hoped to wrap up a deal for the Croatian international before he travelled with the Nerazzurri to their pre-season training camp in China, but negotiations stalled when they were unable to agree a fee. Reports suggested that Inter had demanded £48m for the player, while Man United were reluctant to go above £40m.
While a deal still looks some way from completion, Inter manager Luciano Spalletti has admitted that the right offer could see him leave the San Siro – the first such admission that he may depart this summer. He went on to say, however, that the ideal scenario is that Perisic would stay at the club:
“He’s an important player in the team and we’re counting on him to start the new season.
“Sure, there were rumours, but the status quo is that we want to keep Perisic.
“Having said that, if someone comes in with a very difficult offer to reject, then we’ll consider that.
“But, of course, we’ll need to find a valid alternative for Perisic as well.”
(via BBC Sport)
That replacement could come in the form of Lazio’s Keita Balde. Reports earlier this month had suggested that the 22-year-old Senegal international was closing in on a €20m move and while those reports have subsided a bit, a renewed interest by Man United in Perisic could see a domino effect that has Inter back in for Balde.
Man United themselves, meanwhile, are being frustrated in their efforts to lad their final summer targets. While the deals to bring in Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku were (relatively) straightforward, Jose Mourinho’s plan to recruit Perisic and either Nemanja Matic or Eric Dier have so far hit brick walls.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football podcast, we caught up with Sean Maguire and Kevin O’Connor ahead of their move to Preston, and review the League of Ireland clubs’ European campaigns.