Inter Milan attacker Ivan Perisic has confirmed that Premier League side Manchester United were indeed close to securing his signature when they made an approach during the summer of 2017.
The Croatia international was highlighted as the prime target for manager Jose Mourinho during that period, but a deal never materialised with United being reluctant to match the Nerazzurri’s asking price.
However, an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo, Perisic appeared to suggest that the transfer fee was probably not the stumbling block and he could have quite easily switched clubs barring the efforts of Luciano Spalletti.
The Italian tactician was recruited from AS Roma following the 2016/17 season in order to improve upon Inter’s showing and Perisic has acknowledged that the 59-year-old had played an influential role in convincing him to stay put.
Perisic has since committed his future to the San Siro outfit on a fresh long-term contract until June 2022 but this may not completely cease the speculation over his future with him refusing to rule out a future Premier League move in the recent interview.
United have improved on their performances on the attack front as the current season has progressed and most of their concerns have lied on the defensive side of their game where they have already conceded 23 times from 14 league appearances.
Based on this, it does not appear meaningful to strengthen the squad with another attack-minded player at the turn of the year and the focus could turn to improve the backline when the transfer window reopens.
Jose Mourinho’s side only managed a high-scoring 2-2 draw during the recent league game at Southampton. The stalemate sees them maintaining the seventh position in the standings with a five-point deficit to the top four, though the gap could extend further with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal left to play in the current gameweek.
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