Inter Milan remain steadfastly unwilling to sell winger Ivan Perisic to Manchester United as the summer transfer window enters its final four weeks. The Croatia international has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford but the Serie A side have no plans to part with their prized asset.
Jose Mourinho wants to make at least one more signing before the window closes, having already brought in Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic. A winger is the Portuguese coach's top priority but little progress has been made in recent weeks amid an inflated transfer market which has seen Neymar join PSG for €222m [£198m].
Luciano Spaletti, the manager of the Nerazzurri, says talk of Perisic leaving "is now finished", seemingly drawing an end to any hope United had of landing the 28-year-old. But amid renewed reports that a deal could yet be struck before the window closes on 31 August, sports director Piero Ausilio has moved to reiterate the Italian's stance over Perisic and midfielder Antonio Candreva, who has been linked with Chelsea.
"First of all, it is not true, talking about Antonio, that he has been questioned: never put on the market, together with him we are trying to build a great Inter," he told Premium Sport. "And the same goes for Perisic. It is a will we have as a society [to offer him a new contract], we feel it is right to recognise the merits of its performance."
The Independent understand that despite Inter's public insistence that a deal will not happen, both them and United will eventually agree to Perisic moving to the 20-time English league champions in a deal worth £48m. But the delay over the move highlights the struggles Mourinho's side have encountered getting deals over the line this summer.
Mourinho has publicly criticised the failure to sign players, regularly putting pressure on executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward who is tasked with leading United's negotiations in the transfer market. The two-time Champions League winner still wants three more signings - two full-backs and a wide player - but is understood to have accepted that one new face might be the limit of the club's remaining activity this summer.
Serge Aurier has been offered to United after being told he can leave PSG, who are looking to recoup funds after their world-record signing of Neymar, while Luke Shaw has impressed Mourinho sufficiently to all-but end his interest in signing another left-back. The England international was heavily criticised by his manager last season for his lack of fitness and application but those fears are understood to have been dampened during an impressive pre-season.
The 54-year-old wanted the crux of United's business to be completed before they flew to the United States for the start of pre-season. Instead they were only able to name one new face, Lindelof, in their squad before Lukaku joined up after they arrived in the US. Matic only made his debut in Dublin against Sampdoria on Wednesday [2 August], 11 days before their Premier League opener.