Arsenal have stepped up their interest in Croatia star Ivan Perisic and earmarked him as replacement for Theo Walcott, who is tipped to leave the club this summer. The 27-year-old was out of favour last season and is expected to be sold despite assurances from the club over his future.
talkSPORT reports that Arsenal have been impressed by the Croatian's performance in Euro 2016, despite his side crashing out of the round of 16 tie against Portugal following an extra time goal by Ricardo Quaresma. Perisic was the star in a talented Croatia side in the Euros, bagging two goals and an assist. The Gunners were keen on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Riyad Mahrez but are now willing to shift their attention to the Inter Milan man for a move this summer.
Perisic has scored seven goals and assisted six in 34 appearances for Inter last season and will bring some much needed creativity on the wings for the Gunners. The north London club are also in the market for a striker after being snubbed by Jamie Vardy to stay at Leicester City.
Meanwhile, Croatia coach Ante Cacic has revealed his frustration after his team failed to make it to the quarter-finals. Croatia dominated the majority of the fixture but were undone by a last gasp winner, pouring cold water over their hard work in the group stages, which they topped after beating Spain.
"We cannot say football is fair, we had many chances, we dominated for the whole match, so it was not a psychological problem," said Cacic, as quoted by Sky Sports. "The best team doesn't always win and that happened tonight.
"Of course I am really sad, we had a great chance, the draw was perfect for us," he added. "We knew we had a really open part of the draw against Poland, but that is tournament football. Portugal are a really strong team, I congratulate my players for their effort.
"I am sure Portugal are a high quality team with some experienced players and I think Portugal are the favourites now (to reach the final)."