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Report: Jose Mourinho Believes Ed Woodward Collapsed £48m Move for Ivan Perisic

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2018

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - OCTOBER 3: Ivan Perisic of Internazionale during the UEFA Champions League  match between PSV v Internazionale at the Philips Stadium on October 3, 2018 in Eindhoven Netherlands (Photo by Edwin van Zandvoort/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho reportedly thinks executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward deliberately refused to meet Inter Milan's £48 million valuation of Ivan Perisic because the player wasn't a big enough name for the fee.

James Robson of the London Evening Standard (h/t Jack Otway of the Daily Express) reported the Red Devils coach is suspicious of the circumstances that lead to United missing out on the attacker's signature, with Woodward reportedly submitting an offer of £3 million under the asking price in 2017.

Perisic went on to become one of the stars of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as Croatia were defeated in the final by France.

United have continued to struggle on the wing since missing out on Perisic, with the starting XI lacking genuine width and creativity.

Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward (R) listens as Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho talks with former Manchester United player Bobby Charlton (not pictured) following the pre-season friendly football match between W
JON SUPER/Getty Images

Per Robson (h/t Otway), Mourinho is said to believe Woodward had an ulterior motive for putting the brakes on the transfer, as the supremo found Perisic's status in the game unattractive. Woodward has been positive sanctioning huge deals for Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, but the Special One thinks the Croatian didn't fit Woodward's commercial ambitions.

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Woodward is keen to sign players that sell shirts on a global scale, and the winger does not fit this profile.

However, it is undeniable United have suffered as a result of missing out on Perisic's talents.

United striker Romelu Lukaku continues to be isolated as the No. 9, with Sanchez unable to find his best form on either wing.

Perisic would have provided better balance than the Chile superstar in the wider positions, making Mourinho's starting XI more fluid and potent.

ALICANTE, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 11:  Ivan Perisic of Croatia looks on prior to the UEFA Nations League A group four match between Spain and Croatia at Manuel Martinez Valero Stadium on September 11, 2018 in Alicante, Spain.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Get
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The Croat admitted last August he still has ambitions to find his way to the Premier League.

Speaking to Sportske novosti (via Chris Burton of Goal), Perisic said:

"I heard some clubs want me but they have to talk to my club and only after that could I join the negotiations and decide.

If I was to change club, it could only be to a top league and top club.

Only God knows what will happen in future, I am happy at Inter but we all know anything is possible in football.

Honestly, I would like to test myself in all of the biggest leagues but the question is will I have the time, I am 29 and working to extend my career as long as I can."

Yes, I'd like to play in England and Spain but I don't know if there is enough time left."

SHREWSBURY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Ed Woodward executive vice-chairman of Manchester United (L) and Sir Bobby Charlton in discussion prior to the Emirates FA Cup fifth round match between Shrewsbury Town and Manchester United at Greenhous Meadow on Febru
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Inter's valuation of Perisic was certainly steep, but United continue to present a squad with positional holes across the board.

Mourinho made a huge financial outlay on Brazil international Fred, but the midfielder has sat on the bench in the opening weeks of the campaign while United suffer in defence.

United need to prioritise their targets better than they have in the past 12 months, and a director of football must be installed to dilute Woodward's influence on transfers.

The Red Devils have to add shrewd signings to their fold in the winter and summer transfer windows, and the incoming players do not need to be superstars to be worthy captures.

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