After a hugely impressive World Cup for Croatia, Ivan Perisic has re-emerged as a January target for Manchester United and could be available at a knock-down price, according to The Evening Standard.
The Inter Milan forward was hotly pursued in previous transfer windows by United boss Jose Mourinho, and the Portuguese manager will be keen to reignite his interest with Inter potentially allowing him to leave the San Siro.
Perisic, who scored against England in the World Cup semi-finals, is set to leave Inter for a cut-price deal of £31m which will fall well in line with United’s projected January spending. Previously, the Red Devils had been quoted £48m which was considered too much by Mourinho and Chief Executive Ed Woodward.
How would Perisic fit in?
Perisic is typically a left-winger but is equally as strong playing centrally or on the right-hand side of an attacking three. This will give Mourinho plenty of options but what United really need to iron out is the problem that seems to exist on the right-side of attack.
Naturally, Jesse Lingard is perhaps the strongest option to play the position but after an indifferent start to the season which has been hampered by injuries, Perisic could be tried and tested in that role.
Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial are often preferred on the left of the attack which does leave scope for Perisic’s potential signing to improve United’s goal threat. For far too long now, Mourinho’s side have tried and tested a number of players without any making the position their own.
Skills and attributes
There was no magic potion or secret recipe to Croatia’s march towards the World Cup final in July. The performances of Perisic, Mario Mandzukic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic all ensured the Eastern European side gained a large number of admirers for their performances, despite losing out to France in the Final.
Perisic, though, was quite simply unplayable at times and not only does he have a keen eye for goal, his general build-up play and commitment to the cause is something that’ll excite Mourinho. The former Borussia Dortmund winger covered the most ground at the World Cup, 72.5km in total, which further demonstrates the high work rate he’ll bring to an often lethargic-looking United side.
From Mourinho’s perspective, he’ll ideally be looking for Perisic to stretch defences and to bring others into play which will suit United’s style of play. Despite being 29, Perisic prefers to run at players and cut inside to provide dangerous crosses which will prove highly favourable with the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku making late runs into the box.
United’s faint title hopes
Okay, so it looks borderline impossible for the Red Devils to lift the title this season, according to Premier League winner odds. Manchester City and Liverpool remain unbeaten and are 16 and 14 points clear of United respectively, but league titles have been won from said position.
Perisic’s potential inclusion could be the perfect tonic to re-boot United’s flagging season, however. Even though he has no Premier League experience, the former Hadjuk Split graduate has plenty of game time across the Bundesliga and Serie A which will make him suited for the rigours of the English game.
It appears that’ll it will be a busy January at Old Trafford with a number of targets being identified but a deal for Perisic should be crafted post haste. Despite his age, Perisic would make a fine addition to the red half of Manchester and perhaps this time, Mourinho will land his man.