Is Ivan Perisic worth the trouble?

Paul Pogba, David De Gea, Angel Di Maria, the list goes on. Manchester United have always been involved in long, protracted transfer sagas one way or another, and especially even more so in recent years. United have already secured the signings of Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelöf without much drama, apart from the will-he won’t-he affair with Alvaro Morata. But one player has been linked with United for so long with hardly any progress being made: Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic.

First, a little background. Inter needed to raise €30 million by 30 June to comply with Financial Fair Play rules. United saw this as an opportunity snap up one of their key players for a cut price, and approached Inter for Perisic, setting a price of €30 million. Inter were unwilling to part with him for that amount, however, and kept their asking price up at €50 million, with hopes that they could raise the €30 million with other deals. As 30 June came, Inter sold players such as Gianluca Caprari to Sampdoria and Ever Banega to Sevilla among others, and succeeded in raising the €30 million.

Now that the sole driver of a cut-price deal gone, and the possibility of one pretty much zero, you’d expect United to start relenting bit by bit to Inter’s demands. But no. With Inter not budging on their demands, United have also refused to make a more substantial offer. And Inter themselves aren’t showing any drop in their resolve. Despite rumours linking them to Lazio winger Keita Balde, Inter manager Luciano Spalletti has said that he wants Perisic to remain, and the Croatian has now left for Inter’s pre-season tour.

With Inter’s refusal to lower their asking price, the only way United could sign the winger is to meet their exorbitant asking price. It’s not as if United can’t afford it, after all. There’s no point in United forcing a cut-price deal now, as there is no motivator for Inter to do one. And with Mourinho pressing for his squad to be complete as soon as possible, United need to move quickly. The only reason for United not meeting Inter’s asking price is that they do not think he’s worth it.

While Perisic is not the flashy, big-name signing United fans lust over, he would be a very useful addition to the squad. United do have the likes of Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Anthony Martial as options out wide, that’s about as many quality options they have. The remaining options are Marcus Rashford, a natural striker, Jesse Lingard, and Ashley Young, neither have been performing to a high enough standard. Perisic is currently one of Inter’s best players, and is at a high enough level to both push and possibly unseat those currently holding a starting position. Moreover, as the third highest crosser in the Serie A last season, Perisic provides in another area that United’s current set of wingers. And as the player who created the most clear cut chances in the division, his methods seem to be working.

Even in today’s market though, €50 million for someone who will be, at least, to begin with, a squad player, is a bit steep. Taking his age of 28 into consideration, United have a lot to think about.

It’s not difficult to see why United would be after Perisic and seeing the €30 million possibility earlier in the summer, it made sense for them to have a go. But now that the transfer is deadlocked, with both clubs sticking to their desired price, United need to stump up a lot of extra money to get their man. And if things continue to not go anywhere, then they must not think he’s worth it.

Written by Adimurti Pramana


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