Ivan Perisic is "excited" about the prospect of signing for Chelsea and working with soon-to-be manager Antonio Conte, according to his agent. The Inter Milan and Croatia winger is reportedly a potential target for the incoming Conte, with the Serie A side perhaps being forced to sell if they fail to meet financial fair play regulations.
Speaking to Goal.com's Nizaar Kinsella, Persic's agent, Tonci Martic, said: "To be linked to a club like Chelsea and a manager like Antonio Conte is very exciting for Perisic. The Premier League is the best league in the world and Chelsea is a massive club so we would happily talk about it but a deal is far at this moment."
Kinsella's report identified Perisic as "one of several Serie A players" Conte is keen on to help rebuild Chelsea's ailing squad. That fits with recent rumours linking Perisic with a move to Stamford Bridge.
Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport (h/t Uche Amako of the Daily Express) reported on March 30 how Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would rubber-stamp a £15.7 million offer for Perisic.
The Serie A club may have to accept such an offer due to their own financial issues. Kinsella described exactly what those issues are: "Inter may be forced to sell Perisic having once fallen foul of the financial fair play rules and a likely lack of [UEFA] Champions League football next term would put them at risk once again."
If Chelsea can strike such a deal for Perisic, it would be one of the bargains of the summer transfer window. The 27-year-old is a devilish wide forward who makes some of the most perceptive runs in Europe.
His ability to ghost off the flank into dangerous areas makes him a threat to any defence. His varied movement creates true fluidity up front.
Those qualities have helped the former Wolfsburg man thrive in Italy's top flight this season. He's scored six times and provided a quartet of assists in Serie A, according to WhoScored.com.
Perisic would be a major asset for a Chelsea squad that needs to spread the goals around next season. His presence would help offset any continuing problems of finding a marquee centre-forward.
Conte Plans Talks with John Terry
Skipper John Terry is supposed to be leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of this season. But Conte reportedly still wants to talk with the 35-year-old centre-back, even though Terry remains convinced he won't be offered a new contract, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
Cross noted how Terry hasn't been short of offers since Chelsea decided not to renew his deal: "Terry’s current deal expires this summer and there has been offers from China, interest from the MLS and Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola wants to take him to Al-Arabi in the Middle East."
While any club would welcome Terry's experience and leadership, now seems like the perfect time for Chelsea to move on and open a new chapter. The arrival of Conte is the ideal moment for the west London club to begin finding its next talisman at the back.
Refreshing things in defence will be a priority for Conte. But he cannot ignore the need to add more variety and talent up front.
Signing Perisic for a reasonable fee would give the Blues a player sure to add plenty of both to a new-look forward line next season.