Manchester United’s pursuit of Gareth Bale always seemed like it would end in disappointment this summer. The Welsh international, who scored a brace after coming on as a substitute in Real Madrid’s 3-1 Champions League final win over Liverpool, had openly suggested that his future was up in the air after claiming that first team football was a priority having frequently been confined to the bench last season. Zinedine Zidane’s resignation and Julen Lopetegui’s subsequent appointment at the Bernabeu has changed the landscape somewhat, and with Cristiano Ronaldo moving to Juventus, Bale is widely expected to be given the starring role at Real that he’s craved since moving to Spain in 2013.
As such, United’s attempts to prise the former Tottenham Hotspur player from Los Blancos’ grip look likely to end in failure, and as such, Jose Mourinho has identified another target for the ride side of attack, according to the Manchester Evening News. Ivan Perisic, who United were close to signing last summer has been earmarked as a potential transfer target with the Croatian international now on holiday after his country’s run to this summer’s World Cup final. The Inter Milan forward scored an excellent goal in the first half of Sunday’s showpiece game against France, but was unable to stop his team from losing 4-2 at the Luzhniki Stadium, and will now take several weeks to rest and recover ahead of the start of the Serie A season.
As mentioned, United came close to sealing his signature last summer, only for the club to refuse to meet Inter’s valuation of the player. At the time, United were apparently unwilling to pay over-the-odds for a player approaching his 30s with limited resale value, and as such, a deal was abandoned. A move won’t be any easier to complete this summer, given that Perisic’s value will only have increased after impressive displays in Russia, so United may need to prepare for intense rounds of negotiation if they wish to bag their man.