Any attempt by Manchester United to revive their failed summer pursuit of Ivan Perisic in the New Year is likely to become more complicated after Inter Milan confirmed that the player's new contract contains no release clause.
Perisic emerged as one of United's key targets during the most recent transfer window, with Jose Mourinho eager to complete his desired quartet of signings by recruiting a wide player to follow versatile defender Victor Lindelof, prolific striker Romelu Lukaku and midfield enforcer Nemanja Matic to Old Trafford.
Such a protracted saga ran for several weeks and degenerated into something of a farce in the hours before a pre-season trip to the Far East, although ultimately fizzled out as Inter reportedly refused to lower their £48m ($65m) asking price.
United were additionally said to be unwilling to include the likes of Anthony Martial in any part-exchange agreement.
Having apparently been sold on his long-term future at the San Siro by manager Luciano Spalletti, Perisic, who was already tied to the Nerazzurri until 2020, signalled his renewed commitment by penning fresh terms on a lucrative new five-year contract just days after the market closed.
Some might have expected the Croatian international to demand the insertion of a buyout clause in that latest deal, although sporting director Piero Ausilio insists that is not the case as Inter, currently top of Serie A after winning four of their first five matches, look to prove they can be as successful as Manchester United under current ownership after a number of unsatisfactory seasons.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported earlier this month that Perisic's new arrangement was worth €4.5m-per-year and included no buyout option for foreign clubs, which was rather sensationally dubbed in some quarters of the media as an 'anti-United' clause.
"Perisic still had a few years on his contract," Ausilio told Sport Mediaset, as relayed by Goal. "Nobody ever denied that this offer arrived from Manchester United, but we have been working to convince him to stay at Inter and that our project could be just as successful as Manchester.
"The new contract was a consequence of that. There is no release clause because we did not intend to propose one, nor was it requested by his entourage."
Perisic has put all that aforementioned transfer speculation behind him to make an impressive start to the 2017-18 campaign, scoring three goals in five league starts. The 28-year-old has notched a total of 23 times in 84 appearances since joining Inter from Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg in a £14.5m deal two years ago.