Tuesday 25 July 2017

Man United's move for Inter Milan star hits snag as Jose Mourinho prepares to hear offers for Anthony Martial

Ivan Perisic (left) and Anthony Martial (right).
Ivan Perisic (left) and Anthony Martial (right).

Miguel Delaney

Manchester United have reached a roadblock in their pursuit of Internazionale’s Ivan Perisic, as there is a difference of around £15m between the Premier League club’s current valuation of the Croatian winger and the Milanese asking price of £50m.

The situation could yet see Jose Mourinho look elsewhere, and his first choice for the position is his former Chelsea player Willian, although the Brazilian has so far proven unwilling to go to Old Trafford. United sources say any signing could also mean that the club is more open to offers for Anthony Martial, although the French star is not officially “for sale”.

Perisic is also a target of Liverpool, having previously played for Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund between 2011 and 2013, but the 28-year-old wants to go to Old Trafford and the principles of personal terms have already been discussed.

While United want to get any deal done for around £35m, though, Inter are insisting on no less than £50m - a fee the Old Trafford club are at the moment unwilling to rise to. The Serie A club paid just over £14m for the 56-time-capped Croatian international, when signing him from Wolfsburg in 2015.

Perisic has been hugely productive in Serie A this season with 11 goals in 38 games, and generally fits Mourinho’s industrious profile for the position, but he sees Brazilian Willian as almost the perfect blueprint of the type of hard-working wide attacker he idealises.

While United have made an initial approach to Chelsea, Willian has already turned down the idea of leaving the champions for Old Trafford. The 28-year-old - signed by Mourinho himself from Anzhi Makhachkala for £30m in 2013 - recently re-asserted his loyalty to Chelsea despite the club understood to have been willing to do a deal with the Old Trafford hierarchy.

Martial has occasionally played in that role for United this season, but his interpretation of the position is understood to be different to Mourinho’s, partially explaining why the 21-year-old has only started 18 league games. While it is currently by no means a case of the Portuguese pushing Martial out, since the manager does appreciate his talent, Old Trafford sources say the right offer could persuade the club to sell.

(© Independent News Service)

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