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Thursday, July 13, 2017

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Manchester United are trying to complete a deal for Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic, the Croatia international eager to push through the move to Old Trafford.

Inter hope to keep hold of the 28-year-old, but it is thought United are getting closer to meeting his £48m valuation. So what is it about him that has attracted the interest of Jose Mourinho?

Perisic has had a varied career which has already taken him through five different European countries. He left his native Croatia for French side Sochaux as a teenager, which was followed by a move to Club Brugge, where he won the Belgium league's player of the year award in 2010/11.

Perisic has impressed in every country he has played in. His track record for adapting to unfamiliar surroundings suggests he could comfortably manage the transition to the Premier League.

Perisic is most comfortable playing on the left flank, but he started his career as a striker and still possesses natural scoring instincts. The 28-year-old loves to cut inside, and the stats show a real knack for getting into dangerous positions. His average of 2.1 penalty box shots per 90  minutes last season was higher than any other non-striker in Serie A.

Perisic's physical stature makes him a good fit for the Premier League, and at 6ft 1in, he also ticks a box for Mourinho in terms of height. The Portuguese likes his teams to overpower their opponents, and United's recent transfer activity highlights just how much he favours the kind of aerial prowess Perisic can offer.
Mourinho demands tenacity and defensive work-rate from his wide players as well as attacking efficiency. He will have noted how Perisic developed those traits alongside his countryman Ivica Olic, a striker known for being a tireless workhorse, both in the national team and at Wolfsburg.
Perisic was once criticised by Klopp for complaining about a lack of playing opportunities at Dortmund, but these days he is a team player committed to working hard for his manager. In that sense, it is easy to see how he would fit in under Mourinho.

Perisic's age means his re-sale value is limited, and there is less room for development than you might get with a younger player. Will he be able to sustain his pace as he heads into his 30s? It provides food for thought for Mourinho, but right now it's fair to say the positives outweigh the negatives.


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