Manchester United Transfer News: Inter Milan Boss Hoping to Keep Ivan Perisic

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 21, 2018

Inter Milan's Croatian forward Ivan Perisic celebrates after scoring a goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Inter Milan and Juventus on April 28, 2018 at the San Siro Stadium in Milan. (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has indicated reported Manchester United target Ivan Perisic will remain at the San Siro for the coming season despite interest from Old Trafford.

Perisic has seen rumours resurface after being linked with the Red Devils last summer, but Spalletti spoke to Rai Sport (h/t Calciomercato.com) and suggested he and team-mate Mauro Icardi are happy in their current setting:

"Icardi and Perisic are the pillars of our side? Yes, I think so. They are two exceptional professionals, two firm points of reference of the team, which have determined the growth of the Inter. The team has become more tough thanks to them.

"There have been moments that have consolidated the friendship between the players. From the point of view of quality and friendship, I have a nice group at my disposal.

"In the last few days I talked to Perisic who finished the celebrations, he told me he is mentally tired and in terms of energy. He must recover but he has not told me anything that concerns his desire to stay here in Milan."

United boss Jose Mourinho was reported to be targeting Perisic in 2017 as one of his four specialist signings, per Jamie Jackson of the Guardian, and Goal looked at why he could be a good fit for the Portuguese tactician's system:

Goal UK @GoalUK

Could Perisic be the missing piece in Mourinho's masterplan? https://t.co/WopC0K4dJ8

Perisic works more as a wide midfielder than an outright winger at times, and he is competent in running the flank at both ends, showcased by his high work rate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where Croatia finished as runners-up to France:

FIFA World Cup @FIFAWorldCup

🇭🇷Ivan Perisic covered 72.5 kilometres during the #WorldCup, more than any other player. More of the best stats from Russia 2018 👉 https://t.co/W8HDvul2Fc https://t.co/t9vYDbxYVe

The 29-year-old has another four years left to run on his contract and is a highly regarded member of the San Siro personnel, meaning the Nerazzurri are under no major pressure to sell unless their valuation is met.

Like others at the World Cup, Perisic's price-tag will have only increased following his performances in Russia this summer, and Statman Dave pointed to his first-half display in the final as one becoming of a player suited to Mourinho tactics:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Ivan Perišić's first half vs. France by numbers: 100% tackles won 100% crosses completed 5 ball recoveries 2 shots on target 1 take-on completed 1 interception 1 chance created 1 goal Mourinho winger. #CRO https://t.co/rEqeM0JrFb

United's left side is full of competition already, but Alexis Sanchez hasn't been the hit many expected thus far, while Anthony Martial has struggled under Mourinho and Marcus Rashford isn't a natural wide man.

Former Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg technician Perisic is the kind of rounded winger United don't possess, and one that brings a two-footed scoring threat capable in front of goal, too:

Goal @goal

Another glimpse of what Perisic could bring to Man Utd! 🔴🇭🇷 Lovely composed finish into the bottom corner! 🎯 https://t.co/H1yJUFK0k7

Spalletti led Inter to fourth in Serie A last season, meaning they'll have UEFA Champions League football to keep their Croat star satiated in that regard.

The manager's comments point toward a player who may not have the motivation to chase an exit in the weeks to come, and time is ticking down for United to make their move before the transfer window closes on August 9.