Inter Milan stalling on Romelu Lukaku fee; player to head on pre-season tour with Manchester United

Inter Milan is reportedly stalling on matching the £75 million price tag of Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku so the Belgian will be heading to Australia ahead of United’s pre-season tour. However, that is not a big problem as United’s third match in pre-season will be against Inter in Singapore so perhaps a move could be completed overseas?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will turn to Marcus Rashford, who signed a new long-term contract earlier this week, to lead the attacking line for the upcoming season, which could see the 21-year-old start to prove himself at the top level with him previously playing out of his preferred position for the club. Lukaku might not like that fact, which is why he wants to leave the club this summer.

It has been suggested for weeks that Lukaku could leave the club this summer, ever since he praised Antonio Conte as the ‘best manager in the world’, which was a pretty obvious suggestion that he did not want to be at United any longer. Inter though do not seem to want to pay the fee United will demand, instead, trying to take him on loan for £9 million on a two-year spell, then pay £53 million for the player in the summer of 2021.

It is suggested, because the Italian club does not yet have the money to buy Lukaku this summer, that they are aiming to raise the funds in order to do so. It should be pretty apparent to them that United are not going to allow them to pay for the player over the course of three summer transfer windows. If they want Lukaku, then they will need to pay for him this summer.

The report in the media suggests that Inter have now shelved their plans to try and get the 26-year-old Belgian on loan for a two-year spell, paying for him at the end of that term, which is what they should have done before even suggesting it in the Italian media. Over the past week or so, there have been many discussions with Lukaku’s agent, Federico Pastorello and Inter with the agent recently saying:

“We will see the decisions they will take. The times? We do not decide them: it is clear that if they want to buy the player, they have to move.

“The figures? I don’t know, I never made the numbers. You need to ask the club. Inter is seriously trying, Lukaku is a declared goal. But it is still a difficult dream.”

Lukaku will now have to remain professional and apply himself during pre-season training, which is something that he seems to be doing having arrived at the Aon Training Complex earlier in the week. He may also need to play in at least the first two matches of pre-season, against Perth Glory and Leeds United, which will both be played in Perth, Australia. By the time United face Inter Milan in the opening International Champions Cup match, something might have developed in this transfer.

Inter Milan to request tw​o-yea​r loan for Romelu Lukaku with an obligation to buy…

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku seems to be firm in his decision to leave the Old Trafford club this summer, although it has been suggested that he will not officially ask to leave by handing in a transfer request. However, it seems obvious from the player’s previous comments that his future at United is something that will be shortlived.

Inter Milan have a massive interest in signing Lukaku this summer but based on previous reports, they do not want to meet United’s valuation of the player. And to think, two years ago, when United was trying to sign Ivan Perisic, the fact the club seemed unwilling to agree on a reasonable fee for the player should be reverberating in their minds.

It is suggested that the Serie A side plan to request Lukaku on a two-year loan with a fee of £9 million then, at the end of that term, an obligation to purchase the player for £54 million with United receiving a total of £63 million for the player who cost £75 million two summers ago. United, however, is said to be seeking around £80 million for the Belgian.

The reports suggest that United are unimpressed with the idea of having to wait two years for the bulk of the fee and because of that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to keep that player at the Old Trafford club. Whether that is true or this is just a public posturing to ensure United get the money this summer, we shall see in the next couple of weeks.

The 26-year-old’s agent, Federico Pastorello has already met with Inter in Milan this week, although he is believed to represent other players in an around the city. The club is free to sign players again from the 1 July after having a financial fair play transfer ban imposed. When Pastorello left the meeting, he confirmed that the subject of Lukaku had come up, saying:

“Lukaku is a dream, a difficult one to make happen as such. But I believe nothing is impossible.

“Yes, he’s publicly expressed his plans and desires. We’ll see what happens.

“Lukaku is a dream, a difficult one to make happen as such, but I believe nothing is impossible. It’s not impossible and Inter is trying hard.”

Lukaku has played a total of 96 matches for United, scoring 42 goals in all competitions in the two years he has played for the club since he was signed from Everton. Last season, he managed just 15 goals in 45 appearances, often struggling to get involved in matches, keep the ball or do things with it. He was overshadowed by Marcus Rashford, especially after Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho.

Personally, I feel that United should stick to their guns. The club owes Lukaku nothing at the end of the day. He has a good contract which includes a great wage. If he wants to leave, the buying club will have to meet United’s demands. Whilst getting a loan fee for the player this summer, then the bulk of the remaining fee in two years might seem good to balance the books at the time, it means that United would be seen as weak.

Inter Milan tried to pull United’s pants down over the prospective Perisic deal two years ago, demanding a massive fee for the player, despite him being 28 at the time. United need to demand that Lukaku’s sale is on their terms, not terms which have been set by Inter Milan. If they cannot afford to sign the player, they should not have taken the steps they have taken so far this summer.

If United agree that this is the best option to allow Lukaku to leave then they have to hold their price, ensuring that Inter Milan pays what the club value the player at, whether it is £80 million, or less than that. Also, in order for the deal to go through this summer, with that two-year loan spell, United should demand at least half of the fee to be paid this summer with more paid next summer and the summer after, if it needs to be stretched over the course of three summer transfer windows.

Inter Milan cannot demand that United sell a player they want on their terms. It has to be based on the terms of the selling club, not the buying club. If that is not good enough for Inter, then I guess they will just have to make do without Lukaku this summer, with United either keeping him or trying to sell him elsewhere, to a club that can afford him this summer.

The ball is in United’s court to ensure they get a reasonable fee for Lukaku and as the player has not kicked up a fuss to leave, he should be happy to stay, although as it is clear that he does not see his future at United, he will need to ensure he leaves. As it is suggested that he does not want to hand in a transfer request – wanting an amicable departure, the player and his agent should be ensuring United get a fee they want not a fee that Inter Milan can onlt afford to pay.

Romelu Lukaku gives Manchester United two weeks to facilitate Inter Milan transfer

Another day and another Romelu Lukaku story in the media. This one is similar to yesterdays though. The Belgian striker wants to leave for Inter Milan this summer, joining Antonio Conte at the club, the manager who he calls the best in the world, something he has said himself. However, the player will not force a move – although he has set the club a deadline to sort out his future. I’m off to find that Alanis Morrissette song!

Jokes and sarcasm aside, it seems that Lukaku is not happy at United but equally, the fans are not happy with him. It’s one of those 50/50 things in football. Lukaku would be a great striker at the club if there was creativity behind him, feeding him with the balls to score goals. However, that is not the case. United has Paul Pogba, who does not but a gut unless he wants to and a lack of creativity behind the striker.

In all fairness, Lukaku has previously, before signing for United, spoken about a desire to play football in Italy, so this is fair enough in my opinion. Lukaku has scored many goals at United and had a good first season but was poor last season and was dropped by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, which has obviously started this want to leave the club, despite having three years left on his contract, with a fourth to be added.

It is stated that Lukaku has given United two weeks to sort out his future which is just before United heads to Australia (Perth Glory and Leeds United) to start their pre-season tour of the region before heading into Singapore (Inter Milan) and China (Tottenham Hotspur) to partake in the International Champions Cup, before playing the final game in Cardiff (AC Milan), albeit after a friendly match in Norway (Kristiansund).

Lukaku has scored 42 goals in 96 appearances at United in the two years which have elapsed. When you look at it, it is not a bad record. However, scoring goals against the top six clubs is a problem for the Belgian but also a problem for United as a whole. It is all well and good having a top striker but if the creativity is not good, the number of goals scored will not be that great. That is Ed Woodward for you, I guess.

Lukaku does not feel important to Solskjaer, after being dropped when the Norwegian arrived at the club, which was because he was not scoring – hardly rocket science. But obviously, that is not something that is being thought of here, maybe? Lukaku does not have a future at United, because, seemingly, he does not want one. It all seems to be a lot more time wasted for United, bringing in players who did not actually want the move in the first place.

It is all well and good for Lukaku to give United two weeks to sort his future out but the fact that Inter Milan will not pay the fee that United wants for him is not really a problem for United to sort out, that will be one for Inter to sort out. They will need to pay up or give United a player they want as part of the deal. This is hardly rocket science either.

Lukaku might have been a flat track bully on the pitch for United, but not in this instance. United paid £75 million for him, which could have reached £90 million, they are free to set their own price, which is what they’ve done. If Inter Milan don’t want to pay it, Lukaku cannot demand United sell him at a lower fee as they have him contracted for three years, four if you add the clause of a further year. Time to put up or shut up!

Romelu Lukaku reportedly agrees terms with Inter Milan – Manchester United exit coming?

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has reportedly agreed on terms with Inter Milan ahead of what could be an exit from the Old Trafford club this summer. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at the club in December 2018, Lukaku has in effect lost the role as the first-choice striker with Marcus Rashford edging ahead of him.

This speculation comes after the Belgian striker stated that former Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte was the ‘best manager in the world’. Conte has recently been confirmed as the new manager of Inter Milan. Rumours have been rife since the start of 2019 after Lukaku suggested that he had always wanted to play in Italy, something which could actually be happening for him. Lukaku reportedly said:

“I am a big Serie A fan, those close to me know that I have always wanted to play in the English league and in the Italian one, I love Italy.

“The transfer of [Cristiano] Ronaldo, the Italian league is now coming back. Now Antonio Conte going to Inter Milan, which is really good because he is, to me, the best manager in the world.

“You know I’m not somebody who likes to talk about my personal relationship with managers, but I’m a Manchester United player.”

Granted, there is no smoke without fire and the Belgian striker, despite breaking records for his country, has not been the same player at United. That is because there is little creativity in the current squad, which has meant the Belgian has not been provided with many great chances, although some had been created for him, he still missed many simple shots.

If United had a great creative player in midfield, it might all be different but if Lukaku does not want to be at United, he should be allowed to leave, as long as the price the clubs wants for him is paid. Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that terms between the player and the club have been agreed and the player could earn £6 million in bonuses.

However, United will be looking for around £70 million for the Belgian, who they paid £75 million four two years ago. Obviously, Solskjaer will have targets this summer, which he was going to try and get anyway but if a player like Lukaku left, United would then be in the market for a new striker, as they would not want to rely on Rashford, unless Anthony Martial changes positions, maybe even shirt numbers again.

At the end of the season, which was a disappointing one for United, Lukaku did suggest that he might be looking to leave the Old Trafford club this summer with recent comments stating that his mind has been made up and that his agent and the club would ‘talk about it’, which seemingly points to the player leaving the club, or there would be nothing to talk about. Lukaku said:

“The club and my agent will talk about it but I have already made my decision.

“I am going to enjoy my holidays with my family now. I know what I’ll do, but won’t say it. We’ll see.”

Whatever happens, it is not the end of the world for Manchester United. Lukaku has not exactly earned legendary status at the club and it is not set in stone that he could achieve that even if he remained at the club. If his head has told him that he wants to take up a chance to play in Italy, which is something he has dreamed about doing, then United and Solskjaer should not stand in his way, if they money being asked for him is paid.

Manchester United boosted as Milan Skriniar is yet to agree new contract at Inter Milan; other targets linked to Old Trafford club

Manchester United were linked to Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan earlier this year. There was speculation with the Old Trafford club readying to state their interest in the player during the summer, but nothing materialised, unless you believe that an offer was made, which was rejected by the Italian club, which came from some of the clickbait newspapers around Europe. On Tuesday, Calciomercato published an exclusive about the future of the Slovakian defender.

It has been reported Skriniar has yet to agree on a new deal with the Nerazzurri. According to the Italian source, Skriniar held talks with his club three months ago and nothing has been sorted regarding a new contract. It could be something or nothing. It was reported in the summer that Anthony Martial would not sign a new contract with the Old Trafford club, and recent reports suggest otherwise. Things can change, so this does not confirm United may get their man.

Skriniar currently earns around €1.7 million a season and had demanded around €3 million, with €2.6 million put on the table. Since then, nothing seems to have materialised regarding a new deal for the Slovakian. Obviously, at a club like United, he would receive a massive pay rise, which seems to be the way Ed Woodward conduct business. Some of the players on high wages are not necessarily worth what they are being paid, Phil Jones for example. Woodward seems keen to throw the money in the player’s direction though.

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There is nothing to suggest that Inter Milan would sell Skriniar, whose current contract expires in the summer of 2022, so there is no rush to tie the player down to a new contract, which would probably expire in the summer of 2023, just a year later. However, if the player does not sign a new deal, it could lead to him getting itchy feet and seeking a move elsewhere, possibly to a club who will give him what he thinks he deserves, wages wise.

It is yet to be heard as to whether United are still interested in the player, which may or may not be the case. The club definitely needs to bring in competent defenders, either in January or next summer, especially with the fact that both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will be out of contract in the summer, although rumours surfaced last month suggesting that Smalling could be given a new contract at the Theatre of Dreams.

Jose Mourinho was reportedly keen to sign Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, but it was confirmed in the media, who were briefed by Woodward, that he did not consider the players the manager was interested in to be much better than the ones the club already had. It was suggested that United were also interested in Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, with a loan deal for the German touted, but seemingly rejected.

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I am sure Mourinho will have other targets to secure his defence, whether it be in January or beyond and after the start to the season, alongside the leaked goals, which after the Chelsea match on Saturday now stands at 18 goals in the opening 12 games of the season – 16 of those conceded in the Premier League alone, of which nine matches have been played so far. Last season, in the entirety of the Premier League season, United conceded just 28 goals.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked to United again recently. He was linked to the club in the summer, but the media suggested it would cost United more than £70 million to secure the services of the Senegalese international. Another name mentioned during the international break was Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. It has been suggested that the Serbian could cost £40million. It shows that Mourinho has other targets on his mind in order to rebuild United’s defence.

Inter Milan submit loan offer for Matteo Darmian

Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian is likely for a summer exit from the Theatre of Dreams this summer. The Italian, who arrived at the Old Trafford club in the summer of 2015 has fallen out of contention over the past few years, playing his fewest matches for the club last season. Juventus were said to be keen on the player but with speculation suggesting Alex Sandro will remain in Turin, they may not need to sign Darmian.

Inter Milan have been credited with an interest in the 28-year-old this summer but it would be a loan move, rather than a permanent one with an option to buy the player in a year’s time, according to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio. It may well be the best offer for United to offload the player from their books, receiving something in return, rather than seeing the player leave on a free next summer.

United will obviously be seeking a permanent move for the player this summer or at least insert an obligation to buy, rather than an option, which could see the Old Trafford club lose money on the Italian. Darmian started well for United on signing for the club, putting in some good defensive performances which saw him compared to Gary Neville. That bubble burst soon after.

Since Jose Mourinho took over as the manager of the club, Darmian has played a bit-part role at the club, seldom playing in his favoured right-back position but filling the left-back role on occasion, also taking over from Antonio Valencia when he has been rested throughout the past season. During the clubs pre-season tour of the Unites States of America, Darmian has played in every game, covering for the injured Valencia.

United may need to keep hold of Darmian for the start of the season with a whole host of players missing heading into the news season but with Valencia returning to Manchester for treatment on a calf injury, it looks increasingly likely that Darmian could start the season as United’s right-back with Diogo Dalot recovering from injury and not yet playing a part for his new club.

Things could change rapidly though. United will not be in a rush to sell or even loan the player this summer as there will be two transfer deadline days this summer. United will need to ensure purchases are completed before the window closes on the 9 August, a day before their first Premier League match against Leicester City but they can still sell players, to foreign clubs until the 31 August.

Manchester United in ‘advanced talks’ for Inter Milan and Croatian winger Ivan Perisic – reports

Manchester United are reportedly in advanced talks for Croatia and Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic. The 29-year-old was long linked with a move to United last summer but the player ended up signing a new contract at the club and embarking on their pre-season tour. This summer, Mourinho end up signing the winger. Perisic played against England in the semi-final of the FIFA World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium on Moscow on Wednesday evening, winning 2-1 in extra time and sending England into a third-place play-off against Belgium with Croatian playing France in the final.

In the match against England, Perisic scored the equaliser in the 68th minute, after England went 1-0 up through a magnificent Kieran Trippier free-kick in the fifth minute of the match. In extra time, with Croatia seeming a way to make the final of the tournament, Perisic assisted for Mario Mandzukic in the 109th minute, breaking England’s hearts and making the final, to be played at the same stadium, against France on Sunday. Perisic has plenty of class and ability and if reports are true, could be a great signing for the club.

The rumour has been carried by The Sun, with the initial reports coming from Paris United, carried by Get French Football. The reports stated that United are in advanced talks with the Croatian’s representatives which could see Anthony Martial being linked with an exit from the Old Trafford club this summer, despite the player looking happy in training during the past two days. It is also stated that both Fali Ramadani and Pini Zahavi are expected to travel shortly ‘to further negotiations for the player’.

Mourinho has made no secret about his admiration for Perisic both recently or a year ago. Last summer, it was widely anticipated that United would sign Perisic and every newspaper was reporting on the story after Mourinho flew to Croatia to watch the national team play. After Croatia beat England on Wednesday evening, Mourinho was full of praise for the player that he has seemingly been in pursuit of for the past 12 months. The United manager said:

“Perisic is the kind of winger that is different to the others. Normally you look at wingers and they are just fast and creative but he is also physical, very physical, fantastic in the air.”

Last summer, United thought they were close to signing the player for £40 million, with many supporters of the club moaning, what is new, about the potential deal. Perisic has shown, both for Inter Milan and Croatia, just how good he is and would be a great player in Mourinho’s team, as he looks to assemble a side capable of taking on Manchester City, who ran riot in the Premier League last season, winning the title with a 19-point cushion over United. However, it was reported that Inter Milan asked for closer to £50 million for Perisic and the deal halted.

Back in September 2017, Perisic signed a new five-year contract with the Italian club, which seemingly paid the end of United pursuit of the player, until now with these reports, despite not actually being from a source considered all that credible, putting it out there. It is obviously a period where the smallest rumour can be turned into something believable, but also something that materialises into nothing, so we need to be wary of that. However, if true, this could be the start of Mourinho and United recommencing the clubs rebuild this summer.

Manchester United reportedly ready to trigger Inter Milan strikers £97 million release clause

Manchester United are reportedly ready to trigger the £97 million release clause of Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi. Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport have reported the story, which has been carried by The Sun in the United Kingdom. It is suggested that United will face competition for Icardi from both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Icardi has been in great form for his club this season, scoring 18 goals, assisting another in the Serie A.

Inter sit fourth in the Serie A table at this moment in time and with qualification for the UEFA Champions League uncertain, it is suggested that the Argentinian may be tempted with a move to a club that has a better chance of being in the elite European competition next season. Icardi’s current contract with the Italian side will cease in the summer of 2021 but the club hopes to move quickly to secure the player to a new contract but so far the negotiations have been slow.

United, Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain would not have many problems paying the release clause for the player, although the French club, already spending around £200 million on Neymar and the £166 million they will have to pay for Kylian Mbappe, may limit their ability to lure Icardi in the summer. Icardi’s wife Wanda Nara stated last week that “big teams showed their appreciation”, hinting at a possible move, was sent a message by Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio, who openly stated:

“The more we talk about renewing, the more we slow things down.”

Icardi’s wife who also acts as the player’s agent has been quoted as saying:

“I’m taking care of his future. At the very least, I must listen to them and evaluate the conditions and situation. Big clubs also wanted him in the past, but Mauro has always chosen Inter. He’s done a lot for these colours and never doubted what shirt he wanted to wear.

“He was chosen to be their captain at the age of 22 and, unlike what’s been said, he has an excellent relationship with his team-mates. He wants the best for Inter like Ausilio does, but I, and only I, will take care of Mauro’s future. Therefore, I have to evaluate his options: everything goes through me, so whoever wants Icardi must knock on my door first.”

United currently have Romelu Lukaku as their main striker with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has been absent for the last few months after taking time out to fully recover from the knee injury he suffered back in April 2017, making his return earlier this season just seven months after suffering the injury. Marcus Rashford, a payer who can play in a number of positions is another option for Jose Mourinho, as is Anthony Martial, who normally plays on the left-wing. Ibrahimovic could leave the club this summer for LA Galaxy, which may mean Mourinho will need another striker.

Icardi moved to the Italian club in the 2013/14 season and during his time at Inter, has scored 89 goals, assisted 21 times in 147 Serie A appearances, which is a pretty good turnaround for goals and assists. The Premier League is a tougher league, but his class, pace, and experience could see him play to similar standards, although the player may feel he can adapt to La Liga or Ligue 1 football instead, or even remain in Italy with his current club.

This season in the Serie A, after scoring 18 goals and assisting another, Icadri has made 68 shots on goal, 38 of those being on target. Icardi has a shot accuracy of 68%, which could be better, also creating 22 chances for his teammates, which shows he is not a selfish striker. He has a passing accuracy of 74%, an average passing distance of 12 metres. He has won 43% of his duels this season, averages at least one defensive action per match, also committing one defensive error this season.

Manchester United credited with an interest in Slovakian defender

Manchester United have been named as a club interested in signing Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar according to reports. The Slovakian defender has had a good season for the Nerazzurri so far which has reportedly seen attention from Barcelona, Real Madrid, United and Manchester City. Skriniar’s agent, Karol Csonto, has even suggested that one of the mentioned clubs had put in a £57 million offer for the player, which was rejected as Inter cannot afford to lose the player at this stage of the season.

Csonto has insisted that Skriniar would not be leaving Inter in this transfer window but a move could be sanctioned in the summer, if there was agreement in a suitable fee and add-ons, which could see Inter receive a hefty amount of money plus an option of receiving more if the buying club and Inter were able to agree on add-ons. Csonto had spoken to the media about the offer which was on the table and seemingly rejected by Inter with The Sun reporting the representative, said:

“I knew he would never leave in this window, but I can confirm that big clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and the two Manchester clubs are interested. And I can also add that one of these clubs has made a £57million bid for him. Inter rejected it, telling me that they can’t afford to lose their defender now.”

Adding to the speculation as to whether Skriniar would be allowed to leave the Serie A club in the summer, Csonto commented:

“I can’t really say, but there are still a lot of months and a lot can happen.”

The 22-year-old joined Inter from Sampdoria in the summer, despite strong interest from La Liga club Atletico Madrid, with the Slovakian having a strong season and being one of Inter’s best players currently. Skriniar has played every minute of the Serie A season so far, scoring three goals for his club in the process. Looking at the four clubs who have been credited with an interest in Skriniar, both City and Barcelona have brought in a defender this winter with City signing Aymeric Laporte by activating his £57 million release clause and Barcelona signing Yerry Mina.

Looking at the £57 million which has reportedly been offered by one of the four clubs, it being the same as the release clause paid to Athletic Bilbao for Laporte, I do wonder if he was a backup option for the Frenchman if City were unable to pull off the deal, or perhaps one of the other clubs decided to offer a similar fee based on what the going rate is for defenders in the current market, possibly hoping that a deal could be done. There is nothing to suggest this offer had been made by United or even if Jose Mourinho is seeking a new defender this month.

Currently, United have Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, and Daley Blind as the clubs experienced defenders. Axel Tuanzebe, a player looking to earn his place in Mourinho’s squad next season has headed out on loan with Aston Villa, which would have seen United have seven players who would contend for two or three places in a team, depending on what formation was being played by the manager. Mourinho and United may well have been testing the water for a move in the summer, so could all of the other clubs though.

This season, Skriniar has played 22 times in Serie A and has three goals to his name. He holds a passing accuracy of 91%, which is very good, averaging around 18 metres per pass. The Slovakian wins half of his duels also averaging at least seven defensive actions per match. In an attacking sense, Skriniar has created five chances for his teammates this season, which shows his ability going forward, despite it not being his strongest attribute. Skriniar does seem to be a player who would attract the biggest clubs in the world with United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

I am unsure as to whether a player like him would fit into Manchester City’s budget though!

Ivan Perisic a closed subject for Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti

Manchester United have reportedly been after Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic for the majority of the summer, he was at one stage tipped to be the first signing of the summer, but now Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic have all beat the Croatian to the Theatre of Dreams and if Inter manager Luciano Spalletti is to be believed, United have lost out on securing a deal for the target who Mourinho wanted to fortify the wing of his Manchester United team.

Spalletti has suggested the deal is ‘closed’ and claimed he and his club would resist any attempts, especially from United for the Croatia international this summer. Reports have suggested that United manager Jose Mourinho is disappointed at not getting transfer targets over the line ahead of the club’s pre-season tour of the United States of America, but these things have been said every summer, even dating back to Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure as United manager, so unless there are quotes to back this up, I won’t believe it.

The Independent reported earlier in the summer that Mourinho wanted his business done before the pre-season tour after Paul Pogba arrived just before the start of the Premier League season a year ago, not settling into his side, missing the first league match due to suspension and being slated by the media for not setting the world alight in his first minute of play. Pre-season is important for players, it helps the team bond, get ready for the new season and helps the manager get the players adopting his tactics, which United have seemingly done this summer.

Mourinho wanted the pre-season period to help get his players settled and seem to think, according to reports, that delays have cost him in doing that. It may well have cost United Perisic as Spalletti seems adamant that he will not let the player leave the club so close to the start of the new Serie A season. Speaking only last week about Perisic’s future at the San Siro, Spalletti said:

“There was a contact a few weeks ago, then the negotiation stopped, so for me it is closed. The more days that pass, the more difficult it becomes for us to find a replacement of his calibre. I’ll strongly oppose his sale.”

Spalletti’s approach was much tougher as previously he had said that if the offer was good enough, he would let Perisic leave the club as long as a suitable replacement was available to the club. The Inter manager said:

“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.”

United may well have other plans this summer in regards to summer acquisitions, but judging by the words of Spalletti, Perisic may not be that signing. Things to have a habit of being played down when they are in actual still possibilities, so United may well get their man, but that many may also not be Perisic. United seem to have gone quiet again in the transfer market, which could result in some late business being made, possibly ahead of the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid, maybe ahead of first Premier League fixture of the season on Sunday week against West Ham United at Old Trafford.

copyright: JW