Barcelona have reportedly turned their attention towards Ivan Perisic, and could rival Manchester United in pursuit of the Inter Milan winger.
According to Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Ivan Perisic has emerged as a top target for Barcelona, who are scouring for potential additions in attack in the dying stages of the summer transfer window. The Blaugrana could go head-to-head with Manchester United for the Inter Milan winger.
Perisic has been one of the better performers for Inter Milan during two seasons at San Siro, even as the fallen giants of Italian football have struggled to qualify for the Champions League. Last season, the Croat notched up a decent return of 11 goals and 10 assists in 42 appearances across all competitions.
The player, though, has been heavily linked with a summer exit from San Siro all through the summer, with Manchester United hot in his pursuit. Jose Mourinho has gone on record to state that he has asked Ed Woodward to sign a wide forward for his side, and Perisic fits the bill perfectly.
The Manchester United boss currently has used the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard in the wide positions in attack during his time at Old Trafford.
But, only Rashford has managed to enjoy mild success from the area thus far, with Martial and Lingard blowing hot and cold, while Mata and Mkhitaryan tend to thrive while playing more centrally. Thus, the Portuguese manager has been on the lookout for a natural winger in Perisic, although Inter have proven to be difficult negotiators so far.
Mourinho’s job to secure the player’s services seem to have gotten tougher, if latest reports are to be believed, with Barcelona set to join the race for him. The La Liga heavyweights received a big shock earlier this month when Neymar called time on his spell to join PSG.
The Brazilian’s move to Paris has left Ernesto Valverde short of options in attack, with none of Arda Turan, Gerard Deulofeu and Paco Alcacer inspiring confidence to become regular starters on the left side of attack.
While Barcelona have been eyeing deals for Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, the moves for both players are far from certain with both Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool standing firm on their stance for their prized assets.
Therefore, the Blaugrana are believed to have identified Perisic as a possible alternative if they fail to land either player in the coming days. His pace and trickery makes the player an ideal target for the club, whose attacking pursuits often lack an out and out burst of pace.
And Barcelona could have the advantage in the race to sign Perisic, with Pedulla suggesting that Inter would prefer selling him to the Catalans, if at all, because they will be able to secure a larger fee from the La Liga giants.
The Nerazzurri would still favour the idea of keeping the player though, and hand him an improved deal as well. It now remains to be seen if Barcelona can manage to sign Perisic, should they set their sights on him, or if Manchester United are able to finally land him.