Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio has revealed that Ivan Perisic rejected Manchester United because the Serie A side was able to convince him that the project unfolding at the San Siro under new manager Luciano Spalletti was just as lucrative as anything Jose Mourinho could offer.
Reports back in June indicated that Man United had tabled an offer for Perisic and that personal terms had been agreed with the Croat.
But negotiations rumbled on, with the two clubs reaching an impasse over a mutually acceptable fee, and the 29-year-old ultimately signed a new contract at Inter keeping him at the club until 2022.
And Ausilio, reflecting on the entire saga, noted that Perisic, despite being interested in United, never expressly asked to leave the club.
“Nobody denies that this offer from Manchester United arrived, but we and [Luciano] Spalletti wanted him to be a key player for us,” he said.
“We were convinced that our project could be just as successful as the one the English club were offering. Ivan never asked to leave and his new contract is the logical consequence of that. There was no need to insert any kind of release clause in it.”
The fact that Perisic never even asked to leave tells you everything. There are a number of supervening factors surrounding how transfers unfold – or don’t – but the crucial element is, of course, the player’s intentions. Nemanja Matic, for example, wanted United and, after a while, got his wish.
Perisic, on the other hand, appears to have had ulterior motives. Ausilio talks about “our project” at the San Siro, which seemingly entails being third in the table.
But this is a naive claim: the reason Perisic let talk of a move away to Old Trafford germinate and amplify was strictly beccause he knew, at some point, Inter would come to him with an improved contract – more money, in other words. And he duly got what he set out for.