Ivan Perisic may finally get a move to the Premier League in the summer but it could have happened years earlier, when Jose Mourinho pushed for Manchester United to sign the Croatian.
In the summer of 2017, following Luciano Spalletti’s arrival at Inter, Perisic was heavily linked with a move to the Red Devils; Mourinho was desperate to bring the Croatian winger to Manchester and insisted that the club sign him.
At the time, it was reported that Inter refused a €40m bid for Perisic, hoping to secure a fee closer to €55-60m. The Portuguese coach continued to push for him, believing the former Borussia Dortmund man to be the perfect addition to the squad. Manchester United ultimately refused to pay up, leaving the former Chelsea coach frustrated. He was dismissed the following year.
Mourinho briefly reflected on this failed deal back in 2019, underlining that he didn’t “know why Perisic didn’t come to Manchester when I wanted him.”
Perisic also looked back on the deal that year, highlighting how close a deal was and his disappointment that a move never came. “It was fantastic for me when José called me. It was hard to say no to him. I really wanted to go to him and play with United.
“It was a dream of mine to play in all the big leagues. But it didn’t happen. It was painful for me. But I don’t want to go into details. I found out for myself the real reasons two years later,” He added.
Perisic remained with Inter and managed to win the Treble with Bayern Munich whilst on loan. He has since won a Scudetto, a Supercoppa Italiana and most recently a Coppa Italia with the Nerazzurri, netting a brace in the final against Juventus yesterday.
The Croatian forward’s contract expires with the club at the end of next month and it’s still unclear as to whether he’ll renew his deal or leave on a free transfer.