Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has confirmed that Ivan Persic has chosen to remain at the San Siro this season amid interest from Manchester United.
Early reports suggested that the Croat, who claimed 11 goals last season, was keen on a move to Old Trafford over the summer, but negotiations between the two clubs have proven difficult. United initially offered £26m – the amount needed for Inter to meet Financial Fair Play targets by July – but were then told they had to shell out a minimum of £45m after Inter met FFP parity without having to sell anybody.
United refused to meet Inter’s valuation of the 29-year-old, deeming such a sum exorbitant, and have likewise refused to entertain the prospect of shelling out a reduced sum and letting Anthony Martial leave on loan.
And Spalletti, speaking to Sky Italia, has confirmed that the winger has experienced a change of heart after initially expressing a desire to move to Old Trafford.
“Perisic is determined to stay,” he said.
“There was a moment [when he considered moving], but then he spoke like a footballer who is interested in doing the right thing for his professionalism and he drew a conclusion.”
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho made it clear ahead of Sunday’s 4-0 win over West Ham United that he will continue to pursue a winger before the transfer window shuts on August 31 but insisted he wouldn’t cry if the club couldn’t get any further deals over the line.
That said, with Romelu Lukaku already firing at the masthead of attack, the benefits of having a traditional winger capable of reaching the byline and supplying crosses cannot be understated. Mourinho has serious aerial presence at his disposal and will want to take full advantage. Perhaps the 54-year-old, with Perisic and Bale now both off the table, will need to think outside the box (no pun intended).