Ivan Perisic has seemingly staged a U-turn and wants to sign a new contract at Inter Milan, all-but ending Manchester United's pursuit of the winger. The 28-year-old has been subject of a long-running transfer saga between the 20-time English league champions and the Serie A giants yet a resolution appears to have finally been reached deep inside the final week of the summer transfer window.
Following an impasse in talks between Inter and the Old Trafford club, United remained confident of bringing Perisic to the Premier League as recently as 10 days ago. They have since added Zlatan Ibrahimovic to their squad for the new season, joining fellow new faces Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, but there was no indication they were ready to give up on signing Perisic.
Perisic's agent Fali Ramadani has been locked in talks with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in an attempt to bring his client to England - yet it appears the player has renegaded on his intent to leave the San Siro. Croatia national team manager Ante Cacic, who has included the winger in his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Kosovo and Turkey, believes Perisic now wants to remain in Italy and sign a new contract.
"I spoke to Ivan Perisic, he is happy at Inter," Cacic told reporters, according to ESPN. "The coach [Luciano Spalletti] appreciates him... they are preparing new contract for him."
The news virtually ends United's pursuit and leaves Jose Mourinho contemplating a first half of the season without one of his main transfer targets. The two-time Champions League winner wanted a new wideman to supplement his attack but may have to settle for deploying Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford in the position, at least until the January transfer window.
Failure to sign Perisic represents the latest player to slip through Mourinho's fingertips this summer, after the window began with Antoine Griezmann turning down a move to United. The France international reversed his intention to leave Atletico Madrid in a deal worth €100m [£85m] after the club had an appeal against their transfer ban upheld by Fifa. The La Liga side are unable to bring in any new players until January 2018.
And his former agent Eric Olhats, who split with Greizmann after the decision, has revealed the move would have indeed been completed had the transfer ban been overturned. "Griezmann didn't feel able to leave Atletico," the agent said, according to The Independent. "He's been integral to them and has shown his commitment to the club at a time when they couldn't sign players. Without the Fifa sanctions he would have gone."