By Dominic Toner
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has jetted out to Croatia to speed up a £35million deal for Inter Milan ace Ivan Perisic, according to a report.
The Sun claim that Mourinho is in Croatia to watch the 28-year-old attacker play for his home nation against Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier.
It is understood that United is keen to fend off interest from the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea for his signature.
The report details that Mourinho has a leverage in the deal due to his close relationship with agent Predrag Mijatovic, who is understood to be masterminding Perisic’s deal.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Perisic last summer and again in January.
Perisic is enjoying a strong season for Italian club Inter Milan and has made 33 appearances this season across all competitions, scoring nine goals and supplying seven assists.
The Croatia international is a recognised performer in Europe after successful club spells at the likes of Inter, Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund.
Football Insider verdict:
Liverpool have been long-term admirers of Perisic and feel that he would be able to perform in the Premier League. The left winger certainly has all the attributes to suit English football and his work-rate would fit in well with manager Jurgen Klopp. He also would be able to slot into the Reds’ 4-3-3 formation and bring a good level of experience to the squad. However, Mourinho’s interest for United will be a big concern as he tries to complete a major turnaround at Old Trafford. He seems persistent on winning the race to sign the 28-year-old and Liverpool may find it difficult to trump their Premier League rivals. The Merseyside club may be better served look for a natural number nine in the next window as they are in need of some extra firepower.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the club are eyeing a 22-year-old defender with a £38.8million release clause.