3-4 transfer windows later, Ivan Perišić and Manchester United continue to be strongly linked.
Talks have taken place, fees discussed, yet neither Inter Milan nor Manchester United have come to an agreement for the Croatian international’s move. After yet another crucial goal to help his country reach the World Cup final, United have re-ignited their interest in Perišić with reports saying advanced talks between the clubs are taking place amidst the World Cup fever. Fees between £40 million and £50 million are being suggested to take Perišić from the San Siro to Old Trafford.
Ivan Perišić is a product of the Hajduk Split academy and moved to French club Sochaux at 17. After appearing for their youth teams, Perišić was sent on loan to Belgian first division side Roeselare, scoring 5 goals in 17 appearances. Links to a host of top-flight clubs such as Hertha BSC followed, yet Club Brugge were the ones to get to his signature in 2009.
13 goals in his debut season was an impressive feat, yet the following season truly propelled the Croatian into the spotlight. Perišić was top scorer in the Pro League with 22 goals in the 2010-11 season and as a result, won Belgium Player of the Year to prick up the ears of Europe’s elite.
His scintillating form convinced Borussia Dortmund to bring him to the Westfalenstadion. Perišić’s goals such as in the 1-0 win against Borussia Mönchengladbach were crucial in Dortmund’s Bundesliga title win in the 2011-2012, the first silverware of his career. Yet a lack of first-team football in the following season frustrated Perišić, leading to a rift between him and manager Jurgen Klopp.
A move to fellow Bundesliga club Wolfsburg followed in the summer of 2012. Injury restricted him to just 2 goals in his first 6 months at the Volkswagen Arena, however Perišić was back to his best the following season with 12 goals in all competitions. Consistency for Wolfsburg continued until Inter Milan acquired his services in 2015 for €16 million.
9 goals and 6 assists from Perišić helped Inter Milan return to European competition in his first season at the club. He bettered this the following season (2016-17) with 11 goals and laying on a further 10 assists in all competitions in a struggling Inter side that finished 7th. Perisic also reached double digits yet again in 2017-18 with 11 goals.
Perišić is a very versatile midfielder able to play on either wing as well as centrally as an attacking midfielder. What sets Perišić apart from most is his ability to strike with either his left or right foot, a rarity at any level of football. Furthermore, despite being tall at over 6ft, the Croatian has an exceptional turn of pace, coupled with his stamina makes him an asset for any manager.
If he was to move to Manchester United, this could be a good move for Perišić. Impressive form at the World Cup would mean expectation will be high, yet the Croatian is yet to have a bad season at any club he has featured for. A move to Old Trafford will increase the 29 year old’s potential to win trophies and his work ethic alongside his technical ability would certainly make him fit well with Jose Mourinho.
This may not be a wise move for Manchester United though. Similarly with Willian, Perišić would lack longevity and potentially push Anthony Martial out of Old Trafford who has already shown frustration over a lack of game time. Not to mention, a fee of £50 million could be spent on someone younger with a similar ability to Perišić such as Nabil Fekir. With big signings such as Radja Nainggolan and Stefan De Frij, Inter could be set for a strong campaign, prompting Perišić to remain at the San Siro.
Ivan is a brilliant player to watch. His performances in the World Cup are a testament to his ability as a player. A move to the Premier League may be an exciting prospect for Manchester United fans to look forward to in their bid to return glory to the red side of Manchester.