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The Person Responsible For Why Manchester United Didn't Sign Inter Milan And Croatia Star

Ivan Perisic was heavily linked to Manchester United last year
Ivan Perisic was heavily linked to Manchester United last year

Ahead of the meeting between Croatia and England tonight in the behind-closed-doors fixture at the Stadion Rujevica, there’s one particular player Manchester United fans will be keeping a close eye on.

Last season manager Jose Mourinho and the Red Devils were reportedly heavily interested in bringing Ivan Perisic to Old Trafford, but ultimately no deal came into fruition.

Apparently the Croatian left-winger was top of the Portuguese’s wish-list but the club refused to meet the asking price Internazionale slapped on him, by failing to meet just £3million more than United’s original offer.

Now, as reported in The Sun, Manchester United Chief Executive Ed Woodward was adamant about not going over their £45million submitted bid, whereas Inter wanted £48million.

Already an unpopular figure in the red side of Manchester, the latest news at such an awkward refusal at such a meagre increase (relatively speaking) is sure to trigger more ire in Woodward’s direction.

A look at the stats comparing Perisic with the three Manchester United players who have alternated that position on the left flank in the last season shows that the results are extremely favourable to the Croatia, as well as concerning to United fans who are now left thinking what could have been.

In 2017/18 Perisic contributed eleven goals and eleven assists in 37 appearances for Inter in Serie A, only missing a single fixture. This accounts for approximately a goal or an assist every 3.4 games. Only Alexis Sanchez comes close to this statistic, and this accumulated from his far more successful half of the season at former club Arsenal. Since moving from the Gunners in January, the Chilean only managed two goals and three assists in a cumulative of three games, from a possible 12 league fixtures.

On-the-other-hand last season in Milan, Persic was a major factor as to the Nerazzurri finishing fourth and being granted Champions League qualification for the first time in seven years. Furthermore, he was the instigator of the Croatia comeback that saw England knocked out of the World Cup semi-finals, scoring the equaliser.

Despite the failed move to Manchester United, Perisic has been quizzed on his future by Sportske novosti and doesn’t rule out a future move to England;

“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.

"Last year I signed new five-year deal with Inter, I enjoy great status at the club.

“It is true Inter has not had the results it should have since 2010, there were some problems, bad decisions, but somehow I feel we are on the right way to return to old glory.

“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.”

Ultimately however, what a missed opportunity for Manchester United, and the salt will be further rubbed into the wounds should Perisic come up with another exquisite performance in the shirt of Croatia against England.

A comparison of Perisic to United's roster
A comparison of Perisic to United's roster
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