Barcelona Transfer News: Ivan Perisic Eyed as Nolito Alternative, Latest RumoursJune 23, 2016
Barcelona are reportedly targeting Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic as a potential alternative signing to Celta Vigo's Nolito this summer, but Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are all also interested in the Croatian.
According to Sport (via Football Italia), Perisic's impressive performances at Euro 2016 have piqued Barca's interest, with the 27-year-old scoring twice—once against Spain—as Croatia advanced to the knockout rounds as Group D winners.
Per Tuttosport (via Football Italia), the attacking midfielder's value now stands at €30 million (£23 million), a figure likely to rise if he continues to perform in France—for Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe, he has been one of the tournament's best players so far:
Predominantly a winger, Perisic can also play in the No. 10 role or as a second striker.
Barca are in need of added depth in their attacking unit to cover for Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Their main reported target has long been Spain international Nolito, but Manchester City are reportedly now set to meet his €18 million (£13.8 million) release clause and snap him up ahead of Barca, per BBC Sport's Simon Stone.
Perisic would be an excellent alternative to Nolito, not least because he is more than two years younger and more versatile—the Celta man is almost exclusively a left-winger.
However, it looks likely that Inter will demand at least £10 million more for Perisic than Barca would have to pay to trigger Nolito's release clause.
It has long been expected that the Camp Nou outfit will not splash out on attacking players this summer, per Spanish football writer Ed Malyon:
But their hand may be forced if they miss out on Nolito.
Perisic could be worth the money, as he is both a creator and a goalscorer—he netted seven Serie A goals and provided six assists last season, per WhoScored.com—and is only now reaching the peak of his career.
With his Croatian team-mate, Ivan Rakitic, already at the Camp Nou, Perisic could likely settle well at Barcelona, while his intricate playing style would work nicely under Barca manager Luis Enrique.
It will be up to the La Liga club's hierarchy to decide whether they are willing to spend the €30 million to sign Perisic, or to search around for better value.