Manchester United have suffered a blow in their ongoing pursuit of Ivan Perisic after Inter Milan decided against sanction the sale of the winger in the summer transfer window.
According to the Italian publication Mediaset Premium, the Nerazzurri are planning to change their strategy and are willing to sanction Antonio Candreva's sale. The Italian international is wanted by Antonio Conte at Chelsea and Candreva's employers are open to the idea of letting him leave.
The Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho identified Perisic as a key target this summer. He has publicly expressed his desire to sign an attacking player as he wants to strengthen his squad for the new season.
United have already completed the signing of Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic. Perisic was set to become the Red Devils' fourth signing of this summer as the Portuguese tactician is keen on bringing him to Old Trafford.
Inter manager Luciano Spalletti has already admitted that his side will let the Croatian international leave San Siro only if they receive a "difficult offer."
"He's an important player in the team and we're counting on him to start the new season. Sure, there were rumours, but the status quo is that we want to keep Perisic," Spalletti explained.
"Having said that, if someone comes in with a very difficult offer to reject, then we'll consider that. But, of course, we'll need to find a valid alternative for Perisic as well."
According to the Times, United still believe they can secure the services of Perisic. Inter are demanding a fee of £48.5m ($64.1m) for the winger and the Premier League giants are unwilling to meet their asking price.
It is believed that Perisic is keen on making a switch to Old Trafford. However, Inter's desire to retain the former Wolfsburg man and let Candreva will be a blow for both the winger and the 20-time English champions.
On the other hand, Inter's decision to retain Perisic will come as a massive boost for Chelsea. The Blues are looking to bring the 30-year-old Italian to Stamford Bridge and the Serie A side are ready to sanction his sale. The west London are yet to submit a formal offer for Candreva and despite that, Inter are ready to open to the idea of allowing the attacker leave the club.