Ivan Perisic confirms Manchester United were interested in signing him

Croatia international Ivan Perisic has acknowledged that Manchester United were on the cusp of signing him from Inter Milan during the summer of 2017. The attacker had been the subject of multiple bids during the period but they could not find the breakthrough with their reluctance to match the Nerazzurri’s £48m price tag.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Perisic has confirmed that he was close to leaving the Nerazzurri after he was offered the opportunity to work with Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford. However, he added that he ultimately stayed put with the San Siro giants after manager Luciano Spalletti showed the determination to keep hold of him.

He said: “It’s true that an offer from Manchester United was on the table and I was close to leaving Inter. But I decided to stay and Spalletti’s perseverance to keep me played a big role. In football, small details in these situations are key. Admiration from a coach like Mourinho is definitely something that flattered me. It’s confirmation of hard work and good performances.I’m glad he has a high opinion of me and these things motivate me to work hard and train hard, to achieve the best performances.”

Perisic has since gone from strength-to-strength for club and country and he was one of the stars for Croatia at the summer World Cup where the nation reached their maiden final. Elsewhere, United have parted ways with Mourinho after a turbulent period where they struggled to garner regular points and the move has transformed their fortunes with caretaker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer making the difference.

United are currently on a seven-match winning run since Ole took over the reins and they have the opportunity to extend the streak when they face Arsenal on the road during Friday’s FA Cup fourth round tie. The previous fixture against the Gunners ended in a 2-2 league draw at Old Trafford.