Manchester United Target Perisic Viewed As Coutinho Alternative
Manchester United could face competition from Barcelona for the Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic.
Reports from Italy on Friday claimed that a bid for the €55million (£48million) Croatia international could be on the cards if Barca fail to sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund or Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.
Barca are looking to replace Neymar and also boost their midfield options. Dembele is being seen as the natural replacement for the Brazilian with Coutinho further strengthening their squad.
Manchester United have been chasing Perisic for the whole of the summer. An initial bid of €30million (at the time worth aroundn £26million) was rejected by Inter. That was the sum of money that had to be raised by Inter by the end of June in order to avoid being penalised under Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations. A further bid of €40million was also rejected by the Serie A club.
SportItalia claims Barca could now put in a bid for Perisic. However, the Dembele and Coutinho sagas have some way left to run. Dembele is refusing to train with Dortmund and Coutinho has put in a transfer request to Liverpool as both players seek to force through their moves to the Nou Camp.
But Perisic won’t be the only alternative Barcelona have. Former Tottenham man Paulinho – currently with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande – is also a target as is Nice’s Jean-Michael Seri. But those two clubs have both put price tags of €40million on their players.
Perisic Offered New Deal By Inter
The latest on Manchester United’s interest in Perisic is that his agent Fali Ramadani was in Manchester this week for talks with United officials. That shouldn’t be taken to mean a fresh move is imminent. Ramadani has done his bit and has agreed personal terms of around for Perisic with United.
FCInterNews claims that Inter are keen for Perisic to sign a new contract. It states that an opening offer of €5million a year nett – the equivalent of £160,000 a week gross – has already been rejected by Ramadani who has reportedly agreed a four-year deal worth €28million nett with United. That sounds high given that figures of £150,000 a week have been put about. Seven million a year nett is the equivalent of £220,000 a week gross. Perisic currently earns half that amount.
A Manchester United move for Perisic still looks more likely than a switch to Barcelona. Unfortunately for United fans, a prolonged stay at Inter is looking even more likely.