Internazionale’s Ivan Perisic is “hugely keen and excited” to play for Jose Mourinho, and personal terms have been agreed, as Manchester United look to add the Croatian wide player to the prospective signing of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid over the next week.
Mourinho is determined to get the Premier League club’s highest-priority business done by the start of July, and it is understood that the main negotiation point that needs to be sorted in both deals is the transfer fee.
Real Madrid have been holding out for £78m on Morata, with Internazionale hopeful of £50m for Perisic.
The fact that both players are so keen on the moves strengthens United’s hand. There is still a significant difference of around £15m in what the Old Trafford club are willing to pay for Perisic and what Internazionale want, but the Italian club also face pressure from the other side given that they need to bring in £26m before the end of June to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
The 28-year-old has long been “desperate” for the move, and also almost exactly fits Mourinho’s profile of a hard-working wide attacking player, akin to his ideal for the role, Willian.
Negotiations for Morata are meanwhile said to have generally gone “very smoothly”, although it will ultimately come down to what Real are willing to accept, even though they are in principle willing to sell to do their own business. A further potential complication for United is the David De Gea situation.
Although there had been widespread reports in Spanish media during the past week that Real had cooled their interest, and that the Champions League winners’ squad had persuaded manager Zinedine Zidane to stick with Keylor Navas, some sources close to the Bernabeu feel they could yet try and leverage negotiations with United by asking for the goalkeeper to be included in any deal. United however remain hopeful that will not be the case, and are still standing firm that De Gea is not going anywhere.
The signing of Torino’s Andrea Belotti meanwhile looks increasingly unlikely, as the Serie A club are completely unwilling to accept an offer lower than the 23-year-old striker’s £84m buy-out clause, and United are themselves unwilling to go that high.
Mourinho is meanwhile more intent on a defensive midfielder than an extra option to Morata, and United are currently pursuing a number of options. They may yet challenge Chelsea’s pursuit of 22-year-old Tiemoue Bakayoko of Monaco, although he is currently likely to go to Stamford Bridge, while sources close to both Old Trafford and the French club are adamant that there has been contact between intermediaries regarding Bakayoko’s teammate Fabinho.
Monaco are under no pressure to sell, and will insist on a high price for the 23-year-old, meaning Mourinho could yet turn to his former Chelsea player Nemanja Matic or the back-up option of Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier.